DNA/Histone Methylation and Adipocyte Differentiation: Applications to Obesity

  • Yangmian Yuan
  • Chengyu Liu
  • Danyang Wan
  • Kun HuangEmail author
  • Ling ZhengEmail author
Reference work entry


The adipose tissue has attracted great attention lately; in addition to be known as an energy store organ, it has also been shown as an endocrine organ. Dysfunction of adipose tissue plays critical roles in the pathogenesis of many metabolic diseases including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer cachexia, and lipodystrophies. The increased mass of adipose tissue in obese individuals is due to hypertrophy and hyperplasia. The transcriptional cascade during adipocyte differentiation has been well defined during the past two decades, while recent studies suggest epigenetic regulation plays an important part in adipocyte differentiation. In this chapter, we focus on the regulation of DNA methylation and histone methylation in adipocyte differentiation, as well as major enzymes involved in these processes. Targeting the methylation profiles of DNA and histone to reduce adipocyte differentiation may be a potential therapeutic approach to obesity.


Adipocyte differentiation Epigenetic regulation DNA methylation Histone methylation Commitment Adipogenesis DNA methyltransferase DNA demethylase HMT Histone demethylase 

List of Abbreviations






Activating signal cointegrator 2


ASC-2 complex


Brown adipose tissue


Bone morphogenic protein 4


CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein


DNA methyltransferases


Epididymal white adipose tissue


High fat diet


Methyl-CpG binding proteins


Mitotic clonal expansion


Methyl-CpG binding protein-2


Mouse embryonic fibroblast


Nonalcohol fatty liver disease


Mesenchymal stem cells


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1 alpha


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors γ


Polycomb repressive complex 2


PR domain containing 16 protein


Pax transactivation domain-interacting protein


Ten-eleven translocation methylcytosine dioxygenases


Uncoupling protein1


White adipose tissue


Zinc finger protein 423


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Life SciencesWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Tongji School of PharmacyHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina

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