BMB Rep. 2016; 49(8): 401-402  
Epigenetic role of nuclear S6K1 in early adipogenesis
Sang Ah Yi, Jihoon Han & Jeung-Whan Han*
Research Center for Epigenome Regulation, School of Pharmacy, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 16419, Korea
Correspondence to: E-mail:
Received: June 30, 2016; Published online: August 31, 2016.
© Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. All rights reserved.

S6K1 is a key regulator of cell growth, cell size, and metabolism. Although the role of cytosolic S6K1 in cellular processes is well established, the function of S6K1 in the nucleus remains poorly understood. Our recent study has revealed that S6K1 is translocated into the nucleus upon adipogenic stimulus where it directly binds to and phosphorylates H2B at serine 36. Such phosphorylation promotes EZH2 recruitment and subsequent histone H3K27 trimethylation on the promoter of its target genes including Wnt6, Wnt10a, and Wnt10b, leading to repression of their expression. S6K1-mediated suppression of Wnt genes facilitates adipogenic differentiation through the expression of adipogenic transcription factors PPARγ and Cebpa. White adipose tissues from S6K1-deficient mice consistently exhibit marked reduction in H2BS36 phosphorylation (H2BS36p) and H3K27 trimethylation (H3K27me3), leading to enhanced expression of Wnt genes. In addition, expression levels of H2BS36p and H3K27me3 are highly elevated in white adipose tissues from mice fed on high-fat diet or from obese humans. These findings describe a novel role of S6K1 as a transcriptional regulator controlling an epigenetic network initiated by phosphorylation of H2B and trimethylation of H3, thus shutting off Wnt gene expression in early adipogenesis.
Keywords: Adipogenesis, Epigenetics, EZH2, Histone modification, S6K1

This Article