Novel Function of the Retinoblastoma Protein in Fat: Regulation of White Versus Brown Adipocyte Differentiation

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The differentiation of white and brown fat cells is controlled by a similar set of transcription factors, including PPAR? and C/EBP?. However, despite many similarities between the two types of fat cells, they carry out essentially opposite functions in vivo, with white adipocytes being the major energy store and brown adipocytes being potent energy-dissipaters through thermogenesis. Yet, little is known about factors differentially regulating the formation of white and brown fat cells. Members of the retinoblastoma protein family (pRB, p107, p130) have been implicated in the regulation of adipocyte differentiation, and expression and phosphorylation of the three retinoblastoma family proteins oscillate in a characteristic manner during differentiation of the white preadipocyte cell line 3T3-L1. We have recently demonstrated a surprising function of the retinoblastoma protein in the regulation of white versus brown adipocyte differentiation in vitro and possibly in vivo. Here we summarize the current knowledge on the retinoblastoma protein in fat cells, with particular emphasis on its potential role in adipocyte lineage commitment and differentiation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)772-776
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ID: 14666792