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J Biol Chem. 2004 Jul 9;279(28):29558-64. Epub 2004 Apr 29.

Lipin expression preceding peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma is critical for adipogenesis in vivo and in vitro.

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Departments of Human Genetics and Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles and Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, California 90073, USA.


We recently identified mutations in the lipin gene, Lpin1, as the cause of lipodystrophy in the fatty liver dystrophy (fld) mouse. Here we identify impaired adipocyte differentiation as the basis for lipodystrophy in lipin-deficient mice and demonstrate that lipin is required for normal induction of the adipogenic gene transcription program. We found that the reduced adiposity in chow fed fld mice and resistance to obesity in fld mice fed a high-fat diet is associated with reduced adipogenic gene expression. Using primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts isolated from fld mice, we confirmed that lipin deficiency prevents normal lipid accumulation and induction of key adipogenic genes, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)gamma and CCAAT enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP)alpha. However, our previous studies of daily gene expression in differentiating 3T3-L1 preadipocytes indicated that lipin expression is undetectable until about day 3 of differentiation, at a point after PPARgamma and C/EBPalpha gene expression is established. This paradox was resolved by examining gene expression at 10-h intervals during 3T3-L1 cell differentiation, leading to detection of transient lipin expression at 10 h into the differentiation program, prior to the induction of PPARgamma and C/EBPalpha. Consistent with a requirement for lipin expression upstream of PPARgamma, differentiation of lipin-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts could be rescued by ectopic expression of PPARgamma. Thus, we conclude that lipin expression is required prior to PPARgamma during adipocyte differentiation.

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