Journal of Molecular Medicine

, Volume 74, Issue 7, pp 347–352

Transcription, adipocyte differentiation, and obesity

  • J. Auwerx
  • G. Martin
  • M. Guerre-Millo
  • B. Staels

DOI: 10.1007/BF00210629

Cite this article as:
Auwerx, J., Martin, G., Guerre-Millo, M. et al. J Mol Med (1996) 74: 347. doi:10.1007/BF00210629


Differentiation of adipogenic precursor cells into mature adipocytes is a complex phenomenon, characterized by an ordered expression of adipocyte-specific genes, triggered by a set of interacting transcription factors. The most important transcription factors involved in this process are the γ form of peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARγ) and the various members of the CCAAT enhancer binding proteins (α, β, and δ). In addition to PPARγ and these enhancer binding proteins, several other transcription factors, including ADD-1 (SRE-BP), HMGI-C, are involved in regulating this process. Altered activity and/or expression of these transcription factors, will induce the expression of target genes in the differentiating cells, ultimately resulting in the phenotypical characteristics of the adipocytes. It is speculated that modulation of these transcription factors by either pharmacological or dietary manipulations might influence adipocyte differentiation and prove beneficial in the prevention and treatment of obesity.

Key words

AdipocytesCCAATT enhancer binding proteinGene expressionNuclear receptorsPeroxisome proliferator activated receptors



Adipocyte differentiation and determination factor-1


Basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors


CCAATT enhancer binding protein


High-mobility group


Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor


Preadipocyte repressor element


White adipose tissue

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Auwerx
    • 1
  • G. Martin
    • 1
  • M. Guerre-Millo
    • 2
  • B. Staels
    • 1
  1. 1.INSERM U 325, Département d'AthéroscléroseInstitut PasteurLilleFrance
  2. 2.INSERM U177, Institut des CordeliersParisFrance