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J Cell Sci. 2006 Mar 1;119(Pt 5):889-97. Epub 2006 Feb 14.

PKBalpha is required for adipose differentiation of mouse embryonic fibroblasts.

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Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Maulbeerstr. 66, CH-4058, Basel, Switzerland.


Protein kinase Balpha (PKBalpha) is a key regulator of metabolism, proliferation and differentiation. We have explored the role of PKBalpha in adipogenesis using wild-type and PKBalpha-knockout mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and show that lack of PKBalpha prevents MEF differentiation into adipocytes. Expression of ectopic PKBalpha in PKBalpha-deficient cells restores adipogenesis. We identified 80 genes whose expression was upregulated in wild-type MEFs during adipogenesis but whose expression was significantly reduced in PKBalpha-deficient MEFs under the same conditions. Significantly, the regulator of adipogenesis Kr├╝ppel-like transcription factor 15 gene expression was downregulated in PKBalpha-deficient MEFs but could be restored by expressing an active PKBalpha in the deficient cells. The level of lipocalin 2, renin 1 and receptor-activity-modifying protein 3 genes expressed by adipose cells was also decreased in PKBalpha-deficient MEFs, and are inhibited by LY294002 treatment during early adipocyte differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells. The results underscore an essential role for PKBalpha in the transcriptional program required for adipogenesis.

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