CBX7 gene expression plays a negative role in adipocyte cell growth and differentiation

Floriana Forzati, Antonella Federico, Pierlorenzo Pallante, Marianna Colamaio, Francesco Esposito, Romina Sepe, Sara Gargiulo, Antonio Luciano, Claudio Arra, Giuseppe Palma, Giulia Bon, Stefania Bucher, Rita Falcioni, Arturo Brunetti, Sabrina Battista, Monica Fedele, Alfredo Fusco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have recently generated knockout mice for the Cbx7 gene, coding for a polycomb group protein that is downregulated in human malignant neoplasias. These mice develop liver and lung adenomas and carcinomas, which confirms a tumour suppressor role for CBX7. The CBX7 ability to downregulate CCNE1 expression likely accounts for the phenotype of the Cbx7-null mice. Unexpectedly, Cbx7-knockout mice had a higher fat tissue mass than wild-type, suggesting a role of CBX7 in adipogenesis. Consistently, we demonstrate that Cbx7-null mouse embryonic fibroblasts go towards adipocyte differentiation more efficiently than their wild-type counterparts, and this effect is Cbx7 dose-dependent. Similar results were obtained when Cbx7-null embryonic stem cells were induced to differentiate into adipocytes. Conversely, mouse embryonic fibroblasts and human adipose-derived stem cells overexpressing CBX7 show an opposite behaviour. These findings support a negative role of CBX7 in the control of adipocyte cell growth and differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-879
Number of pages9
JournalBiology Open
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Adipose tissue
  • Cbx7
  • Mouse models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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