Manara - Qatar Research Repository
2 files

The E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase UHRF1 promotes adipogenesis and limits fibrosis by suppressing GPNMB-mediated TGF-β signaling

journal contribution
submitted on 2024-06-24, 05:20 and posted on 2024-06-24, 05:22 authored by Muneera Vakayil, Aisha Y. Madani, Maha V. Agha, Yasser Majeed, Shahina Hayat, Shameem Yonuskunju, Yasmin Ali Mohamoud, Joel Malek, Karsten Suhre, Nayef A. Mazloum

The E3 ubiquitin-ligase UHRF1 is an epigenetic regulator coordinating DNA methylation and histone modifications. However, little is known about how it regulates adipogenesis or metabolism. In this study, we discovered that UHRF1 is a key regulatory factor for adipogenesis, and we identified the altered molecular pathways that UHRF1 targets. Using CRISPR/Cas9-based knockout strategies, we discovered the whole transcriptomic changes upon UHRF1 deletion. Bioinformatics analyses revealed that key adipogenesis regulators such PPAR-γ and C/EBP-α were suppressed, whereas TGF-β signaling and fibrosis markers were upregulated in UHRF1-depleted differentiating adipocytes. Furthermore, UHRF1-depleted cells showed upregulated expression and secretion of TGF-β1, as well as the glycoprotein GPNMB. Treating differentiating preadipocytes with recombinant GPNMB led to an increase in TGF-β protein and secretion levels, which was accompanied by an increase in secretion of fibrosis markers such as MMP13 and a reduction in adipogenic conversion potential. Conversely, UHRF1 overexpression studies in human cells demonstrated downregulated levels of GPNMB and TGF-β, and enhanced adipogenic potential. In conclusion, our data show that UHRF1 positively regulates 3T3-L1 adipogenesis and limits fibrosis by suppressing GPNMB and TGF-β signaling cascade, highlighting the potential relevance of UHRF1 and its targets to the clinical management of obesity and linked metabolic disorders.

Other Information

Published in: Scientific Reports
See article on publisher's website:


Qatar Foundation - Biomedical Research Program.



  • English


Springer Nature

Publication Year

  • 2024

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar
  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Health and Life Sciences - HBKU
  • Hamad Medical Corporation
  • Academic Health System - HMC
  • Interim Translational Research Institute - HMC