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J Cell Physiol. 2012 Jan;227(1):108-15. doi: 10.1002/jcp.22707.

Suppression of Glutamine:fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase-1 inhibits adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

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Department of Medical Genetics, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, ROC.


O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) protein modification has been implicated in the regulation of signaling pathways, cell function, and gene expression. Glutamine:fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase-1 (GFAT-1) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP), which generates the sugar nucleotide UDP-GlcNAc, where this nucleotide acts as the donor for O-GlcNAc modification. In this study, we determined whether GFAT-1 regulates adipogenesis in adipocytes. 3T3-L1 preadipocytes were differentiated using medium containing high glucose, insulin, dexamethasone, and isobutylmethylxanthine. Cells were harvested 4, 8, and 12 h and 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 days after the initiation of differentiation. Global level of O-GlcNAc modification increased 4 h after induction and persisted for 8 days of observation. GFAT-1 mRNA and protein expression was also upregulated beginning 4 h after induction. Pharmacological inhibition of GFAT-1 or GFAT-1 siRNA treatment blocked the increase in O-GlcNAcylation and the formation of lipid droplets in adipocytes. GFAT-1 may regulate the expression of C/EBPβ, PPARγ, SREBP-1, fatty acid synthase, S3-12, perilipin, or adipophilin during adipogenesis. Our results suggest that GFAT-1 plays a critical role in modulating adipogenesis via the regulation of protein O-GlcNAcylation in adipocytes.

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