A microRNA Cluster Controls Fat Cell Differentiation and Adipose Tissue Expansion By Regulating SNCG

Adv Sci (Weinh). 2022 Feb;9(4):e2104759. doi: 10.1002/advs.202104759. Epub 2021 Dec 13.


The H19X-encoded miR-424(322)/503 cluster regulates multiple cellular functions. Here, it is reported for the first time that it is also a critical linchpin of fat mass expansion. Deletion of this miRNA cluster in mice results in obesity, while increasing the pool of early adipocyte progenitors and hypertrophied adipocytes. Complementary loss and gain of function experiments and RNA sequencing demonstrate that miR-424(322)/503 regulates a conserved genetic program involved in the differentiation and commitment of white adipocytes. Mechanistically, it is demonstrated that miR-424(322)/503 targets γ-Synuclein (SNCG), a factor that mediates this program rearrangement by controlling metabolic functions in fat cells, allowing adipocyte differentiation and adipose tissue enlargement. Accordingly, diminished miR-424(322) in mice and obese humans co-segregate with increased SNCG in fat and peripheral blood as mutually exclusive features of obesity, being normalized upon weight loss. The data unveil a previously unknown regulatory mechanism of fat mass expansion tightly controlled by the miR-424(322)/503 through SNCG.

Keywords: adipocytes; adipose tissue; miR-424(322)/503; obesity; γ-Synuclein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipogenesis
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • gamma-Synuclein / genetics
  • gamma-Synuclein / metabolism*


  • MicroRNAs
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • SNCG protein, human
  • gamma-Synuclein