Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors: a nuclear receptor signaling pathway in lipid physiology

Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 1996;12:335-63. doi: 10.1146/annurev.cellbio.12.1.335.


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are lipid-activated transcription factors that belong to the steroid/thyroid/retinoic acid receptor superfamily. All their characterized target genes encode proteins that participate in lipid homeostasis. The recent finding that antidiabetic thiazolidinediones and adipogenic prostanoids are ligands of one of the PPARs reveals a novel signaling pathway that directly links these compounds to processes involved in glucose homeostasis and lipid metabolism including adipocyte differentiation. A detailed understanding of this pathway could designate PPARs as targets for the development of novel efficient treatments for several metabolic disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Lipids / physiology*
  • Microbodies / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*


  • Lipids
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Transcription Factors