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J Cell Mol Med. 2018 Oct;22(10):4709-4720. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.13715. Epub 2018 Jul 25.

NR4A1 retards adipocyte differentiation or maturation via enhancing GATA2 and p53 expression.

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Department of Cell Biology, Shandong University School of Medicine, Jinan, China.
Department of Life Science, Qilu Normal University, Jinan, China.
Medical Research Center, Shandong Provincial Qianfoshan Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, China.
Department of Blood Transfusion of Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, China.
Department of Endocrinology, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, Qingdao, China.


Nuclear receptor subfamily 4 group A member 1 (NR4A1) is an orphan nuclear receptor with diverse functions. It has been reported that NR4A1, as a transcriptional activator, is implicated in glucose and lipid metabolism. The aim of this study was to investigate the regulatory role of NR4A1 in adipogenesis and explore the underlying mechanisms. Quantitative real-time PCR and Western blotting were used to analyse the expression of genes involved in synthesis and mobilization of fats in vivo and in vitro. Dual-luciferase reporter assay was conducted to study the regulatory mechanisms of NR4A1. Our data from in vivo study confirmed that NR4A1 knockout (KO) mice fed with high-fat diet were more prone to obesity, and gene expression levels of PPARγ and FAS were increased in KO mice compared to controls; our data from in vitro study showed that NR4A1 overexpression in 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes inhibited adipogenesis. Moreover, NR4A1 enhanced GATA binding protein 2 (GATA2) expression, which in turn inhibited peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ); NR4A1 inhibited sterol regulatory element binding transcription factor 1 (SREBP1) and its downstream gene fatty acid synthase (FAS) by up-regulating p53. NR4A1 inhibits the differentiation and lipid accumulation of adipocytes by enhancing the expression of GATA2 and p53.


NR4A1; PPARγ; adipogenesis; fatty acid synthase; obesity

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