The nuclear orphan receptor COUP-TFII plays an essential role in adipogenesis, glucose homeostasis, and energy metabolism

Cell Metab. 2009 Jan 7;9(1):77-87. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2008.12.002.


Adipose tissue development and function play a central role in the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of metabolic syndromes. Here, we show that chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter transcription factor II (COUP-TFII) plays a pivotal role in adipogenesis and energy homeostasis. COUP-TFII is expressed in the early stages of white adipocyte development. COUP-TFII heterozygous mice (COUP-TFII(+/-)) have much less white adipose tissue (WAT) than wild-type mice (COUP-TFII(+/+)). COUP-TFII(+/-) mice display a decreased expression of key regulators for WAT development. Knockdown COUP-TFII in 3T3-L1 cells resulted in an increased expression of Wnt10b, while chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that Wnt10b is a direct target of COUP-TFII. Moreover, COUP-TFII(+/-) mice have increased mitochondrial biogenesis in WAT, and COUP-TFII(+/-) mice have improved glucose homeostasis and increased energy expenditure. Thus, COUP-TFII regulates adipogenesis by regulating the key molecules in adipocyte development and can serve as a target for regulating energy metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Adipogenesis*
  • Adipose Tissue, White / metabolism
  • Animals
  • COUP Transcription Factor II / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chickens
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Heterozygote
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Time Factors
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism


  • COUP Transcription Factor II
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Wnt10b protein, mouse
  • Glucose

Grant support