Genetic Manipulation with Viral Vectors to Assess Metabolism and Adipose Tissue Function

Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1566)


Viral vectors have become widely used tools for genetic manipulation of adipose tissues to understand the biology and function of adipocytes in metabolism. There are a number of different viral vectors commonly used: retrovirus, lentivirus, adenovirus, and adeno-associated virus (AAV). Here, we review examples from the literature and describe methods to transduce adipocytes and adipose tissues using retrovirus, lentivirus, adenovirus, and AAV to ascertain gene function in adipose biology.

Key words

Adipose tissue Brown fat White fat Beige fat Adipocyte Viral vectors Adenovirus Transduction Retrovirus Lentivirus Adeno-associated virus AAV Adipogenesis Adipokine Metabolism Diabetes Obesity 


  1. 1.
    Rosen ED, Spiegelman BM (2014) What we talk about when we talk about fat. Cell 156(1–2):20–44. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2013.12.012 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Baker KD, Thummel CS (2007) Diabetic larvae and obese flies-emerging studies of metabolism in Drosophila. Cell Metab 6(4):257–266. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2007.09.002 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hotamisligil GS (2006) Inflammation and metabolic disorders. Nature 444(7121):860–867. doi:10.1038/nature05485 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lelliott C, Vidal-Puig AJ (2004) Lipotoxicity, an imbalance between lipogenesis de novo and fatty acid oxidation. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 28(Suppl 4):S22–S28. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0802854 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Zechner R, Kienesberger PC, Haemmerle G, Zimmermann R, Lass A (2009) Adipose triglyceride lipase and the lipolytic catabolism of cellular fat stores. J Lipid Res 50(1):3–21. doi:10.1194/jlr.R800031-JLR200 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Maier P, von Kalle C, Laufs S (2010) Retroviral vectors for gene therapy. Future Microbiol 5(10):1507–1523. doi:10.2217/fmb.10.100 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gilbert JR, Wong-Staal F (2001) HIV-2 and SIV vector systems. Somat Cell Mol Genet 26(1–6):83–98CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Sakuma T, Barry MA, Ikeda Y (2012) Lentiviral vectors: basic to translational. Biochem J 443(3):603–618. doi:10.1042/BJ20120146 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Morizono K, De Ugarte DA, Zhu M, Zuk P, Elbarbary A, Ashjian P, Benhaim P, Chen IS, Hedrick MH (2003) Multilineage cells from adipose tissue as gene delivery vehicles. Hum Gene Ther 14(1):59–66. doi:10.1089/10430340360464714 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Carlotti F, Bazuine M, Kekarainen T, Seppen J, Pognonec P, Maassen JA, Hoeben RC (2004) Lentiviral vectors efficiently transduce quiescent mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Mol Ther 9(2):209–217. doi:10.1016/j.ymthe.2003.11.021 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Katayama K, Wada K, Miyoshi H, Ohashi K, Tachibana M, Furuki R, Mizuguchi H, Hayakawa T, Nakajima A, Kadowaki T, Tsutsumi Y, Nakagawa S, Kamisaki Y, Mayumi T (2004) RNA interfering approach for clarifying the PPARγ pathway using lentiviral vector expressing short hairpin RNA. FEBS Lett 560(1–3):178–182. doi:10.1016/s0014-5793(04)00100-0 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Liu Y, Chen C, He H, Wang D, E L, Liu Z, Liu H (2012) Lentiviral-mediated gene transfer into human adipose-derived stem cells: role of NELL1 versus BMP2 in osteogenesis and adipogenesis in vitro. Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai) 44(10):856–865. doi:10.1093/abbs/gms070 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tontonoz P, Hu E, Spiegelman BM (1994) Stimulation of adipogenesis in fibroblasts by PPAR gamma 2, a lipid-activated transcription factor. Cell 79(7):1147–1156CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gusinjac A, Gagnon A, Sorisky A (2011) Effect of collagen I and aortic carboxypeptidase-like protein on 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation. Metabolism 60(6):782–788. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2010.07.028 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wold WS, Toth K (2013) Adenovirus vectors for gene therapy, vaccination and cancer gene therapy. Curr Gene Ther 13(6):421–433CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Muzzin P, Eisensmith RC, Copeland KC, Woo SL (1996) Correction of obesity and diabetes in genetically obese mice by leptin gene therapy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 93(25):14804–14808CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lee S, Zhang H, Chen J, Dellsperger KC, Hill MA, Zhang C (2012) Adiponectin abates diabetes-induced endothelial dysfunction by suppressing oxidative stress, adhesion molecules, and inflammation in type 2 diabetic mice. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 303(1):H106–H115. doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00110.2012 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lo JC, Ljubicic S, Leibiger B, Kern M, Leibiger IB, Moede T, Kelly ME, Chatterjee Bhowmick D, Murano I, Cohen P, Banks AS, Khandekar MJ, Dietrich A, Flier JS, Cinti S, Bluher M, Danial NN, Berggren PO, Spiegelman BM (2014) Adipsin is an adipokine that improves beta cell function in diabetes. Cell 158(1):41–53. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2014.06.005 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Bostrom P, Wu J, Jedrychowski MP, Korde A, Ye L, Lo JC, Rasbach KA, Bostrom EA, Choi JH, Long JZ, Kajimura S, Zingaretti MC, Vind BF, Tu H, Cinti S, Hojlund K, Gygi SP, Spiegelman BM (2012) A PGC1-alpha-dependent myokine that drives brown-fat-like development of white fat and thermogenesis. Nature 481(7382):463–468. doi:10.1038/nature10777 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Rao RR, Long JZ, White JP, Svensson KJ, Lou J, Lokurkar I, Jedrychowski MP, Ruas JL, Wrann CD, Lo JC, Camera DM, Lachey J, Gygi S, Seehra J, Hawley JA, Spiegelman BM (2014) Meteorin-like is a hormone that regulates immune-adipose interactions to increase beige fat thermogenesis. Cell 157(6):1279–1291. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2014.03.065 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Svensson KJ, Long JZ, Jedrychowski MP, Cohen P, Lo JC, Serag S, Kir S, Shinoda K, Tartaglia JA, Rao RR, Chedotal A, Kajimura S, Gygi SP, Spiegelman BM (2016) A secreted Slit2 fragment regulates adipose tissue thermogenesis and metabolic function. Cell Metab 23(3):454–466. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2016.01.008 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Daya S, Berns KI (2008) Gene therapy using adeno-associated virus vectors. Clin Microbiol Rev 21(4):583–593. doi:10.1128/CMR.00008-08 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Jimenez V, Munoz S, Casana E, Mallol C, Elias I, Jambrina C, Ribera A, Ferre T, Franckhauser S, Bosch F (2013) In vivo adeno-associated viral vector-mediated genetic engineering of white and brown adipose tissue in adult mice. Diabetes 62(12):4012–4022. doi:10.2337/db13-0311 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    O’Neill SM, Hinkle C, Chen SJ, Sandhu A, Hovhannisyan R, Stephan S, Lagor WR, Ahima RS, Johnston JC, Reilly MP (2014) Targeting adipose tissue via systemic gene therapy. Gene Ther 21(7):653–661. doi:10.1038/gt.2014.38 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Uhrig-Schmidt S, Geiger M, Luippold G, Birk G, Mennerich D, Neubauer H, Grimm D, Wolfrum C, Kreuz S (2014) Gene delivery to adipose tissue using transcriptionally targeted rAAV8 vectors. PLoS One 9(12):e116288. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116288 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Huang W, McMurphy T, Liu X, Wang C, Cao L (2016) Genetic manipulation of brown fat via oral administration of an engineered recombinant adeno-associated viral serotype vector. Mol Ther 24(6):1062–1069. doi:10.1038/mt.2016.34 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Durand S, Cimarelli A (2011) The inside out of lentiviral vectors. Viruses 3(2):132–159. doi:10.3390/v3020132 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Metabolic Health Center, Division of Cardiology, Department of MedicineWeill Cornell MedicineNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations