Retinoic acid inhibits white adipogenesis by disrupting GADD45A-mediated Zfp423 DNA demethylation

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© The Author (2017). Retinoic acid (RA), a bioactive metabolite of Vitamin A, is a critical mediator of cell differentiation. RA blocks adipogenesis, but mechanisms remain to be established. ZFP423 is a key transcription factor maintaining white adipose identity. We found that RA inhibits Zfp423 expression and adipogenesis via blocking DNA demethylation in the promoter of Zfp423, a process mediated by growth arrest and DNA-damage-inducible protein alpha (GADD45A). RA induces the partnering between retinoic acid receptor (RAR) and tumor suppressor inhibitor of growth protein 1 (ING1), which prevents the formation of GADD45A and ING1 complex necessary for locus-specific Zfp423 DNA demethylation. In vivo, Vitamin A supplementation prevents obesity, downregulates Gadd45a expression, and reduces GADD45A binding and DNA demethylation in the Zfp423 promoter. Inhibition of Zfp423 expression due to RA contributes to the enhanced brown adipogenesis. In summary, RA inhibits white adipogenesis by inducing RAR and ING1 interaction and inhibiting Gadd45a expression, which prevents GADD45A-mediated DNA demethylation.

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Journal of Molecular Cell Biology

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