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HZAU Associate Researcher Song Tongxing Lectures on Animals Fat Development and Its Regulation Mechanism

The 264th Academic Salon was held in HZAU on October 11. Song Tongxing from the College of Animal Science and Technology presented a report on the molecular mechanism in which animal adipocytes are generated and the regulation of m6A methylation. More than 40 teachers and students participated in this activity, and over 120 audience watched the lecture simultaneously online.
Song Tongxing claimed that human obesity was seeing a uptick in its incidence on a global scale, and it was the main cause of diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver and other diseases. At present, there were many researches in this field, but the number of drugs that could be used in clinical treatment is still limited. In the production of animal husbandry, the obesity in lactation period will reduce the intake of sows, which makes it hard for piglets to grow fast and strong. Furthermore, the obesity in pregnant period will increase the incidence of weak piglets and reduce economic value. Therefore, it is of great significance to elucidate adipose development and its regulation mechanism. However, it needs to further analyze the development of adipose tissue and the mechanism of its regulation on systemic metabolism.
Taking ZFP 217 transcription factor which was identified in transcription data as the entry point, Song Tongxing constructed ZFP217 gene knockout cell line and mice by CRISPR /Cas9 and found that knockout of this transcription could inhibit the generation of fat cells. At the same time, the level of m6A modification in cells was promoted. Combining with the latest reports and a series of biochemical verification experiments, the team members discovered accidentally that the transcription factor involved in two important biological processes named transcriptional regulation and post transcriptional regulation, experiments. Based on this important conclusion, Song Tongxing proposed a new mechanism which could promote adipocyte formation: the transcription factor ZFP217 can not only activate downstream gene FTO and regulate m6A modification, but also maintain the demethylase activity of FTO by interacting with m6A recognition proteins to change the level of the m6A modification and promote adipocyte formation.
Furthermore, Song Tongxing put forward the prospects for the future research: based on this species or human materials, the mechanism of adipose tissue development and the fate of adipose cells combined with mice models will be further studied; based on the adipose cells dedifferentiation model of the lactation period, the role of adipose cells in breast development and lactation will be researched.
When finishing his report, he was warmly applauded by the present teachers and students. They raised many questions about the lecture and exchanged their opinions with Song Tongxing on CRISPR-Cas9 knockout method, m6A qPCR technical means and adipocyte dedifferentiation.



Translated by Wei Meiqi
Proofread by Xie Lujie