Adipogenesis is the process by which precursor stem cells differentiate into lipid laden adipocytes. Adipogenesis is regulated by a complex and highly orchestrated gene expression program. In mammalian cells, the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), and the CCAAT/enhancer binding proteins (C/EBPs) such as C/EBPα, β and δ are considered the key early regulators of adipogenesis, while fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4), adiponectin, and fatty acid synthase (FAS) are responsible for the formation of mature adipocytes. Excess accumulation of lipids in the adipose tissue leads to obesity, which is associated with cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes and other pathologies. Thus, investigating adipose tissue development and the underlying molecular mechanisms is vital to develop therapeutic agents capable of curbing the increasing incidence of obesity and related pathologies. In this review, we address the process of adipogenic differentiation, key transcription factors and proteins involved, adipogenic regulators and potential anti-adipogenic bioactive molecules.
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