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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Regulation of metallothionein gene expression and secretion in rat adipocytes differentiated from preadipocytes in primary culture.

The gene encoding metallothionein, a low mol. wt. metal binding and stress response protein, is expressed in white adipose tissue. In the present study, metallothionein (MT-1) gene expression and factors regulating metallothionein production have been examined in adipocytes induced to differentiate from fibroblastic preadipocytes in primary cell culture. On the induction of differentiation, the metallothionein-1 gene was strongly expressed in the cells and metallothionein released into the medium. A peak in metallothionein-1 mRNA level and metallothionein secretion occurred at 2 and 10 days post-differentiation, respectively, with a decrease in protein release after this time. The metallothionein-1 gene was expressed in the adipocytes prior to the adipsin and lipoprotein lipase genes, suggesting that it is an early marker of adipocyte differentiation. The addition of the glucocorticoid, dexamethasone, led to a substantial increase in metallothionein-1 mRNA in the cells and metallothionein secretion. Insulin and leptin also stimulated metallothionein production, although the effect was small. Neither noradrenaline nor the beta3-adrenoceptor agonist, BRL 37 344, altered metallothionein release but forskolin and bromo-cAMP were stimulatory, markedly increasing both metallothionein-1 level and metallothionein secretion. It is suggested that metallothionein is a novel secretory product of the differentiated white adipocyte and that its production is regulated particularly by glucocorticoids and through a cAMP-dependent pathway.[1]


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