Adipocyte P2 gene: Developmental expression and homology of 5'-flanking sequences among fat cell-specific genes

C. R. Hunt, J. H.S. Ro, D. E. Dobson, H. Y. Min, B. M. Spiegelman

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289 Scopus citations


We have isolated the mouse gene encoding adipocyte P2, aP2, the differentiation-dependent adipocyte protein homologous to myelin P2. The aP2 gene is present in a single copy in the mouse and is present in single or few copies in species from human to Drosophila. The entire gene spans 4 kilobases and consists of four exons encoding 25, 57, 34, and 16 amino acids; the overall exon structure is similar to the gene encoding liver fatty acid binding protein. A plasmid vector was constructed containing the entire aP2 gene with flanking sequences, modified by linker insertion. When this gene is stably introduced into 3T3-F442A cells, it is expressed only upon adipose differentiation, with a time course of induction very similar to that of the endogenous aP2 gene. We have compared the DNA sequence of the 5'-flanking region of the aP2 gene to the promoter regions of two other genes activated during adipocyte differentiation, glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and adipsin, and find a 13-base region of homology (5'-GGC(TA)CTGGTCA(GT)G-3') present in multiple copies in the 5'-flanking region of each gene. An adjacent 15-base sequence is present only in glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and aP2 genes. Both of these elements share homology with putative viral enhancer core sequence. These results indicate that the aP2 gene contains sequence information necessary for differentiation-dependent expression in fat cells; common elements shared by adipocyte-specific genes may play a role in this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3786-3790
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1986

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