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Histone deacetylase 9 promoter hypomethylation associated with adipocyte dysfunction is a statin-related metabolic effect

By Amna Khamis, Raphael Boutry, Mickaƫl Canouil, Sumi Mathew, Stephane Lobbens, Hutokshi Crouch, Toby Andrew, Amar Abderrahmani, Filippo Tamanini, Philippe Froguel

Posted 23 Nov 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/849695

Background: Adipogenesis, the process whereby preadipocytes differentiate into mature adipocytes, is crucial for maintaining metabolic homeostasis. Cholesterol lowering statins increase type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk possibly by affecting adipogenesis and insulin resistance but the (epi)genetic mechanisms involved are unknown. Here, we char-acterised the effects of statin treatment on adipocyte differentiation using in vitro human preadipocytes cell model to identify putative effective genes. Results: Statin treatment during adipocyte differentiation caused a reduction in key genes involved in adipogenesis, such as ADIPOQ, GLUT4 and ABCG1. Using the Infinium Illumina 850K Methylation EPIC array, we found a significant hypomethylation of cg14566882, located in the promoter of the histone deacetylase 9 (HDAC9) gene, in response to two types of statins (atorvastatin and mevastatin), which correlates with an increased HDAC9 mRNA expression. HDAC9 is a transcriptional repressor of the cholesterol efflux ABCG1 gene expression, which is epigenetically modified in obesity and prediabetic states. Thus, we assessed the putative impact of ABCG1 knock-down in mimicking the effect of statin in adipogenesis. ABCG1 KD reduced the expression of key genes involved in adipocyte differentiation and decreased insulin signalling and glucose uptake. In human blood cells from two cohorts, ABCG1 expression was impaired in response to statins, confirming that ABCG1 is in vivo targeted by these drugs. Conclusions: We identified an epigenetic link between adipogenesis and adipose tissue insulin resistance in the context of T2D risk associated with statin use, which has important implications as HDAC9 and ABCG1 are considered potential therapeutic targets for obesity and metabolic diseases.

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