SPARC functions as an inhibitor of adipogenesis

J Cell Commun Signal. 2009 Dec;3(3-4):247-54. doi: 10.1007/s12079-009-0064-4. Epub 2009 Oct 2.


Adipogenesis, a key step in the pathogenesis of obesity, involves extensive ECM remodeling, changes in cell-ECM interactions, and cytoskeletal rearrangement. Matricellular proteins regulate cell-cell and cell-ECM interactions. Evidence in vivo and in vitro indicates that the prototypic matricellular protein, SPARC, inhibits adipogenesis and promotes osteoblastogenesis. Herein we discuss mechanisms underlying the inhibitory effect of SPARC on adipogenesis. SPARC enhances the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway and regulates the expression and posttranslational modification of collagen. SPARC might drive preadipocytes away from the status of growth arrest and therefore prevent terminal differentiation. SPARC could also decrease WAT deposition through its negative effects on angiogenesis. Therefore, several stages of white adipose tissue accumulation are sensitive to the inhibitory effects of SPARC.