Studies in mammalian species showed that Krüppel-like factor 2 (KLF2) regulates adipogenesis. However, its role in birds is unclear. The objective of the current study was to explore the expression and function of KLF2 in chicken adipogenesis. Results showed that chicken KLF2 (Gallus gallus KLF2 [gKLF2]) was greatly expressed in abdominal adipose tissue, and its transcripts fluctuated during adipose tissue development. In addition, gKLF2 transcripts in abdominal adipose tissue of lean broilers were greater at 1 wk of age but lower at 3, 5, and 8 wk of age than those in fat broilers (P < 0.05). The gKLF2 was more greatly expressed in preadipocytes than in mature adipocytes (P < 0.05), and its expression level decreased during the preadipocyte differentiation in vitro (P < 0.05). The functional analysis showed that gKLF2 overexpression inhibited chicken preadipocyte differentiation (P < 0.05), accompanied by the reduced expression of CCAAT/enhancer binding protein α (C/EBPα) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) and the elevated expression of GATA binding protein 2 (GATA2). Additionally, the luciferase reporter assays showed that gKLF2 overexpression suppressed the promoter activities of chicken C/EBPα and PPARγ (P < 0.05). In conclusion, our results indicated that gKLF2 inhibits chicken adipogenesis, at least in part, through inhibition of PPARγ and C/EBPα expression.
Keywords: Krüppel-like factor 2; adipogenesis; chicken; expression.