A dynamic CTCF chromatin binding landscape promotes DNA hydroxymethylation and transcriptional induction of adipocyte differentiation

Nucleic Acids Res. 2014;42(17):10943-59. doi: 10.1093/nar/gku780. Epub 2014 Sep 2.


CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) is a ubiquitously expressed multifunctional transcription factor characterized by chromatin binding patterns often described as largely invariant. In this context, how CTCF chromatin recruitment and functionalities are used to promote cell type-specific gene expression remains poorly defined. Here, we show that, in addition to constitutively bound CTCF binding sites (CTS), the CTCF cistrome comprises a large proportion of sites showing highly dynamic binding patterns during the course of adipogenesis. Interestingly, dynamic CTCF chromatin binding is positively linked with changes in expression of genes involved in biological functions defining the different stages of adipogenesis. Importantly, a subset of these dynamic CTS are gained at cell type-specific regulatory regions, in line with a requirement for CTCF in transcriptional induction of adipocyte differentiation. This relates to, at least in part, CTCF requirement for transcriptional activation of both the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARG) and its target genes. Functionally, we show that CTCF interacts with TET methylcytosine dioxygenase (TET) enzymes and promotes adipogenic transcriptional enhancer DNA hydroxymethylation. Our study reveals a dynamic CTCF chromatin binding landscape required for epigenomic remodeling of enhancers and transcriptional activation driving cell differentiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipogenesis / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • CCCTC-Binding Factor
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromatin / metabolism*
  • DNA Methylation
  • Dioxygenases / metabolism
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transcriptional Activation*


  • CCCTC-Binding Factor
  • CTCF protein, human
  • Chromatin
  • Ctcf protein, mouse
  • PPAR gamma
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Dioxygenases

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE57582