Scientific publications

PRDM16: the interconvertible adipo-myocyte switch

Gema Frühbeck [SP] (1,2), Pilar Sesma (3) and María A. Burrell (3)
(1) Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Research Laboratory, Clínica Universitaria, University of Navarra, Avda. Pío XII, 36, 31008 Pamplona, Spain
(2) CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain
(3) Department of Histology and Pathology, University of Navarra, c/Irunlarrea 1, 31008 Pamplona, Spain

Magazine: Trends in Cell Biology

Date: Mar 13, 2009

Endocrinology and Nutrition [SP]

Both brown and white adipocytes were previously considered to be derived from the same precursor cell, despite being histologically and functionally different.

However, a recent study shows that overexpression of the transcriptional regulator positive regulatory domain containing 16 (PRDM16) determines the development of brown adipocytes from a progenitor that expresses myoblast markers. Surprisingly, loss of PRDM16 from these precursors does not lead to white adipocyte differentiation.

Thus, PRDM16 controls a bidirectional cell fate switch between skeletal myoblasts and brown adipocytes.

CITATION  Trends Cell Biol. 2009 Apr;19(4):141-6

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