TAF7L modulates brown adipose tissue formation

Elife. 2014 May 29;3:e02811. doi: 10.7554/eLife.02811.


Brown adipose tissue (BAT) plays an essential role in metabolic homeostasis by dissipating energy via thermogenesis through uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1). Previously, we reported that the TATA-binding protein associated factor 7L (TAF7L) is an important regulator of white adipose tissue (WAT) differentiation. In this study, we show that TAF7L also serves as a molecular switch between brown fat and muscle lineages in vivo and in vitro. In adipose tissue, TAF7L-containing TFIID complexes associate with PPARγ to mediate DNA looping between distal enhancers and core promoter elements. Our findings suggest that the presence of the tissue-specific TAF7L subunit in TFIID functions to promote long-range chromatin interactions during BAT lineage specification.

Keywords: BAT; DNA looping; PPARγ; UCP1; developmental biology; mouse; obesity; stem cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / cytology
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Chromatin / chemistry
  • Chromosomes / ultrastructure
  • DNA / chemistry
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Genotype
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Binding
  • TATA-Binding Protein Associated Factors / metabolism*
  • Thermogenesis
  • Transcription Factor TFIID / metabolism*


  • Chromatin
  • PPAR gamma
  • TAF7L protein, mouse
  • TATA-Binding Protein Associated Factors
  • Transcription Factor TFIID
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE55797