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J Biol Chem. 2001 Sep 7;276(36):33336-44. Epub 2001 Jun 28.

Adiponutrin, a transmembrane protein corresponding to a novel dietary- and obesity-linked mRNA specifically expressed in the adipose lineage.

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Université Pierre et Marie Curie, UMR Physiologie et Physiopathologie, CNRS, 15 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine, 75270 Paris, Cedex 06, France.


We have used a mRNA differential display technique to identify new genes involved in the reprogramming of gene expression during the adipose conversion of mouse 3T3 preadipocyte cell lines. We report here on the identification and cloning of a novel adipose-specific cDNA encoding a predicted membrane protein of 413 amino acids. The level of the corresponding 3.2-kilobase mRNA is tremendously increased during 3T3-L1 and 3T3-F442A differentiation into adipocytes. A single, very abundant 3.2-kilobase transcript is also found in inguinal and epididymal white adipose tissues and in interscapular brown adipose tissue but not in any other tissues examined. Its expression in adipose tissue is under tight nutritional regulation. The level of this novel 3.2-kilobase transcript becomes virtually nondetectable during fasting but is dramatically increased when fasted mice are refed a high carbohydrate diet. Based on its adipose specificity and dietary regulation, the novel gene product has been designated adiponutrin. The expression of adiponutrin mRNA is also 50-fold elevated in genetically obese fa/fa rats, indicating a link between adiponutrin and obesity. Western blot and confocal imagery analyses with epitope-tagged protein transiently expressed in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, and COS cells show that adiponutrin strictly localizes to membranes and is absent from the cytosol. Sequence analysis reveals homologies with several other members of related eukaryotic proteins, including a human paralog, which has been recently described in vesicular transport mechanisms. This leads us to suggest that adiponutrin could be involved in vesicular targeting and protein transport restricted to the adipocyte function.

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