Editors' ChoiceDifferentiation

Determining Fat Cell Fate

STKE  10 Oct 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 53, pp. tw12
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.53.tw12

Adipose tissue serves as the body's site for energy storage and expenditure. A fair amount is known about the gene functioning in adipocyte differentiation; however, we are lacking knowledge of the players involved in early adipogenesis. Tong et al. used a fruit fly model system to identify two vertebrate GATA factors that, like their homologs in Drosophila, function in adipose tissue. The proteins GATA-2 and GATA-3 hold differentiating cells in the preadipocyte stage and, hence, regulate the preadipocyte to adipocyte transition. Several mouse models of obesity display a reduction in adipose expression of GATA-2 and GATA-3. Because GATA factors function in adipose tissue in both the fly and mouse, these proteins may serve as appropriate targets for obesity studies and therapy.

Tong, Q., Dalgin, G., Xu, H., Ting, C.-N., Leiden, J.M., Hotamisligil, G.S. (2000) Function of GATA transcription factors in preadipocyte-adipocyte transition. Science 290: 134-138. [Abstract] [Full Text]