Transcriptional regulation of gene expression during adipocyte differentiation

Annu Rev Biochem. 1995;64:345-73. doi: 10.1146/


Cell culture models (e.g. 3T3-L1 cells) have been developed for studying the process of adipocyte differentiation. Differentiation can be induced by adding insulin-like growth factor I, glucocorticoid, fatty acids, and an agent that increases intracellular cAMP level. The adipocyte differentiation program is regulated by transcriptional activators such as CCAAT/enhancer binding protein alpha (C/EBP alpha), peroxisomal proliferator activated receptor gamma 2 (PPAR gamma 2), fatty acid activated receptor (FAAR), and transcriptional repressors such as preadipocyte repressor element binding protein (PRE) and C/EBP undifferentiated protein (CUP). These transcription factors coordinate the expression of genes involved in creating and maintaining the adipocyte phenotype including the insulin-responsive glucose transporter (GLUT4), stearoyl CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1), and the fatty acid binding protein (422/aP2).

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / cytology*
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Line
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Glucocorticoids / metabolism
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Second Messenger Systems


  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Fatty Acids
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • DNA
  • Cyclic AMP