Adipose tissue is an important metabolic organ that is crucial for whole-body insulin sensitivity and energy homeostasis. Highly refined fructose intake increases visceral adiposity although the mechanism(s) remain unclear. Differentiation of preadipocytes to mature adipocytes is a highly regulated process that is associated with characteristic sequential changes in adipocyte gene expression. We demonstrate that fructose treatment of murine 3T3-L1 cells incubated in standard differentiation medium increases adipogenesis and adipocyte-related gene expression. We further show that the key fructose transporter, GluT5, is expressed in early-stage adipocyte differentiation but is not expressed in mature adipocytes. GluT5 overexpression or knockdown increased and decreased adipocyte differentiation, respectively, and treatment of 3T3-L1 cells with a specific GluT5 inhibitor decreased adipocyte differentiation. Epidymal white adipose tissue was reduced in GluT5-/- mice compared with wild-type mice, and mouse embryonic fibroblasts derived from GluT5-/- mice exhibited impaired adipocyte differentiation. Taken together, these results demonstrate that fructose and GluT5 play an important role in regulating adipose differentiation.