Adipogenesis and Noncoding RNAs

  • Pang-Kuo Lo
  • Benjamin Wolfson
  • Qun ZhouEmail author
Reference work entry


Adipogenesis is the cellular process through which pluripotent mesenchymal stem cells and preadipocytes differentiate into mature adipocytes, which are the predominant cell in white or brown/beige adipose tissue. The complicated process of adipogenesis is stringently controlled by multiple layers of regulators that include a myriad of transcription factors, hormones, and signaling pathway molecules. In addition to these well-known protein regulators, a growing evidence has shown that adipogenesis is also controlled by nonprotein regulators called noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) that account for the majority of the mammalian transcriptome. Two major classes of ncRNA, microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs, have been identified to play crucial roles in the regulation of a variety of biological processes, including adipogenesis. In this chapter, we review recent advances in regulatory roles of ncRNAs in adipogenesis and discuss how these ncRNA regulatory networks contribute to the development and functions of white and brown/beige adipose tissues.


Adipogenesis White adipose tissue Brown/beige adipose tissue Noncoding RNAs MicroRNAs Long noncoding RNAs 

List of Abbreviations


Adipose tissue-derived stem cells


Brown adipose tissue


CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein α/β


DiGeorge syndrome critical region 8


Extracellular matrix


Long noncoding RNAs




Mesenchymal stem cells


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ


White adipose tissue



This work was supported by Grants from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and NIH/NCI R01 (CA163820A1 and CA157779A1).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Greenebaum Cancer Center, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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