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Open AccessArticle

The Fto Gene Regulates the Proliferation and Differentiation of Pre-Adipocytes in Vitro

by Yang Jiao 1,2,†, Jingying Zhang 2,†, Lunjie Lu 2, Jiaying Xu 1 and Liqiang Qin 3,*
1
Collaborative Innovation Center of Radiological Medicine of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, Medical College of Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
2
Department of Radiation Genetics, School of Radiation Medicine and Protection, Medical College of Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
3
Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Medical College of Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nutrients 2016, 8(2), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8020102
Received: 20 October 2015 / Revised: 22 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 February 2016 / Published: 19 February 2016
The highly regulated differentiation and proliferation of pre-adipocytes play a key role in the initiation of obesity. Fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) is a novel gene strongly associated with the risk of obesity. A deficiency of FTO may cause growth retardation in addition to fat mass and adipocyte size reduction in vivo. To investigate the potential role of Fto gene on the proliferation and differentiation of pre-adipocytes, we generated Fto-knockdown and overexpressed 3T3-L1 cells. Using numerous proliferation assays our results suggest that Fto knockdown leads to suppression of proliferation, lower mitochondrial membrane potential, less cellular ATP, and decreased and smaller intracellular lipid droplets compared with controls (p < 0.05). Western blot analysis demonstrated that Fto knockdown can significantly suppress peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) and glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4) expression and inhibit Akt phosphorylation. By contrast, overexpression of Fto had the opposing effect on proliferation, mitochondrial membrane potential, ATP generation, in vitro differentiation, Akt phosphorylation, and PPARγ and GLUT4 expression. Moreover, we demonstrated that Wortmannin, a phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, could inhibit phospho-Akt in Fto overexpressed 3T3-L1 cells. Taken together, the results suggest that Fto regulates the proliferation and differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells via multiple mechanisms, including PPARγ and PI3K/Akt signaling. View Full-Text
Keywords: obesity; Fto; pre-adipocyte; proliferation; differentiation obesity; Fto; pre-adipocyte; proliferation; differentiation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jiao, Y.; Zhang, J.; Lu, L.; Xu, J.; Qin, L. The Fto Gene Regulates the Proliferation and Differentiation of Pre-Adipocytes in Vitro. Nutrients 2016, 8, 102.

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