Adipocyte differentiation requires a well-defined programme of gene expression in which the transcription factor C/EBPα (CCAAT/enhancer- binding protein) has a central function. Here, we show that Hzf (haematopoietic zinc-finger), a previously identified p53 transcriptional target, regulates C/EBPα expression. Hzf is induced during differentiation of preadipocyte cell lines, and its suppression by short hairpin RNA disrupts adipogenesis. In Hzf's absence, expression of C/EBPα is severely impaired because of reduced translation of its mRNA. Hzf physically interacts with the 3′ untranslated region of C/EBPα mRNA to enhance its translation. Taken together, these findings underscore a critical role of Hzf in the adipogenesis regulatory cascade.
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