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

The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma regulates expression of the perilipin gene in adipocytes.

Recent studies have shown that lipid droplets are covered with a proteinaceous coat, although the functions and identities of the component proteins have not yet been well elucidated. The first identified lipid droplet-specific proteins are the perilipins, a family of proteins coating the surfaces of lipid droplets of adipocytes. The generation of perilipin-null mice has revealed that although they consume more food than control mice, they have normal body weight and are resistant to diet-induced obesity. In one study (Martinez-Botas, J., Anderson, J. B., Tessier, D., Lapillonne, A., Chang, B. H. J., Quast, M. J., Gorenstein, D., Chen, K. H., and Chan, L. (2000) Nat. Genet. 26, 474-479) it was reported that in an animal model obesity was reversible by breeding perilipin -/- alleles into Lepr db/db obese mice, ostensibly by increasing the metabolic rate of the mice. To understand the exact mechanisms that drive the exclusive expression of the perilipin gene in adipocytes, we analyzed the 5'-flanking region of the mouse gene. Treatment of differentiating 3T3-L1 adipocytes with an agonist of proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) gamma, the putative "master regulator" of adipocyte differentiation, significantly augmented perilipin gene expression. Reporter assays using the -2.0-kb promoter revealed that this region contains a functional PPARgamma-responsive element. Gel mobility shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that endogenous PPARgamma protein binds to the perilipin promoter. PPARgamma2, an isoform exclusively expressed in adipocytes, was found to be the most potent regulator from among the PPAR family members including PPARalpha and PPARgamma1. These results make evident the fact that perilipin gene expression in differentiating adipocytes is crucially regulated by PPARgamma2, providing new insights into the adipogenic action of PPARgamma2 and adipose-specific gene expression, as well as potential anti-obesity pharmaceutical agents targeted to a reduction of the perilipin gene product.[1]


  1. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma regulates expression of the perilipin gene in adipocytes. Arimura, N., Horiba, T., Imagawa, M., Shimizu, M., Sato, R. J. Biol. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
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