• adipocyte;
  • Akt;
  • Cell Differentiation;
  • p53;
  • obesity


Insulin resistance, diabetes and many kinds of cancers are common in overweight and obese individuals. The tumor suppressor p53 is important in securing genetic stability, but its role in the regulation of metabolic processes and cell differentiation remains unclear. We have investigated the role of p53 in adipocyte differentiation. Using 3T3-L1 cells, a mouse embryonic fibroblast preadipocyte model and DIO rat model, p53 expression and function during adipocyte differentiation were investigated. p53 expression increased on the second and fourth day of adipocyte differentiation and decreased thereafter. Its overexpression in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes markedly reduced adipogenesis and marker gene expression. p53 activity was weakened in DIO rat abdominal adipose tissue because of an decreased expression of its activated phosphorylated form. In contrast, p53 knockout enhanced adipogenesis and the expression of marker genes, but significantly reduced insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation. These results indicate that p53 partly suppresses preadipocyte differentiation and adipogenesis by regulating adipocyte gene expression and Akt signaling.