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Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2005 Jul-Aug;40(4):229-42.

Adipose development: from stem cell to adipocyte.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Cell culture models have been developed to study commitment and subsequent differentiation of preadipocytes into adipocytes. Bone morphogenetic protein 4 commits mesenchymal stem cells to the adipose lineage. Other factors, including Wnt signaling, cell density, and cell shape, play a role in lineage commitment. Following commitment to the adipose lineage, growth-arrested preadipocytes can differentiate to adipocytes by treatment with insulin-like growth factor 1, glucocorticoid and an agent that increases cAMP level. This process is characterized by a rapid and transient increase in CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP) beta and synchronous re-entry into the cell cycle. Acquisition of DNA-binding by C/EBPbeta occurs after the transcription factor becomes phosphorylated. The cells enter a growth-arrested state and begin terminal differentiation. C/EBPalpha, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, and adipocyte determination, and differentiation-dependent factor 1 coordinate the expression of genes that create and maintain the adipocyte phenotype.

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