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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Sep;24(9):442-50. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2013.05.002. Epub 2013 Jun 25.

MicroRNA networks regulate development of brown adipocytes.

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  • 1University College London (UCL), Division of Biosciences, School of Life and Medical Sciences, Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, Darwin building, Gower street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.


Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is specialized for heat generation and energy expenditure as a defense against cold and obesity; in both humans and mice increased amounts of BAT are associated with a lean phenotype and resistance to development of the metabolic syndrome and its complications. Here we summarize recent research showing that several BAT-expressed microRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in regulating differentiation and metabolism of brown and beige adipocytes; we discuss the key mRNA targets downregulated by these miRNAs and show how these miRNAs affect directly or indirectly transcription factors important for BAT development. We suggest that these miRNAs could be part of novel therapeutics to increase BAT in humans.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


adipocyte; adipogenesis; beige; brown; microRNA

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