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Proteomics Clin Appl. 2009 Feb;3(2):263-78. doi: 10.1002/prca.200800178.

Proteomics in obesity research.

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Proteomics Unit, Aragon Health Sciences Institute (ICS), Zaragoza, Spain.
Diabetes and Obesity Laboratory-Endocrinology and Nutrition Unit, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS)-Hospital Clínic, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
CIBER de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas (CIBERDEM), Barcelona, Spain.


Obesity has emerged as one of the major global epidemics of the 21st century and is now reaching alarming proportions. Obese subjects have an increased morbidity and mortality, decreased quality of life and a major risk of developing pathologies such as diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. Obesity is a complex disease characterised by an increase in body fat mass resulting from an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. Signal integration between adipose tissue, other peripheral organs and the CNS seems to regulate energy homeostasis. Proteomics may be useful in unravelling the pathogenesis of obesity, since a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors account for its development. Most of the proteomic studies performed to date have focused on protein profiling of adipose tissue in different models of experimental obesity and the study of the adipocyte differentiation process. Another issue that has recently attracted attention is the characterisation of the adipocyte secretome, which may be important in signalling to other organs and in regulating energy balance. Target identification of potential therapies has also been investigated by proteomics. This review focuses on the contributions of proteomics to understanding the molecular mechanisms of obesity and their potential therapies.


Adipocyte; Adipose tissue; Obesity; Proteomics; Secretome


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