Role of energy- and nutrient-sensing kinases AMP-activated Protein Kinase (AMPK) and Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) in Adipocyte Differentiation

Authors

  • Sonia Fernández-Veledo,

    Corresponding author
    1. Research Unit, Hospital Universitari de Tarragona Joan XXIII. IISPV. Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain
    2. CIBER de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas (CIBERDEM), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain
    • Address for correspondence to: Sonia Fernández-Veledo, Research Unit, Hospital Universitari de Tarragona Joan XXIII, c/o Dr. Mallafré Guasch, 4, Tarragona 43007, Spain. Tel.: + 34-977-29-58-00. Fax: + 34-977-29-58-23. E-mail: sonia.fernandezveledo@gmail.com or sonia.fernandez@iispv.cat.

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  • Ana Vázquez-Carballo,

    1. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Pharmacy, Complutense University, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain
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  • Rocio Vila-Bedmar,

    1. Departamento de Biología Molecular and Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa (UAM-CSIC), Madrid, Spain
    2. Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria La Princesa, Madrid, Spain
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  • Victòria Ceperuelo-Mallafré,

    1. Laboratorio de Investigaciones Biomédicas, del Hospital Virgen de la Victoria (Fundación IMABIS), Málaga, Spain
    2. CIBER de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain
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  • Joan Vendrell

    1. Research Unit, Hospital Universitari de Tarragona Joan XXIII. IISPV. Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain
    2. CIBER de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas (CIBERDEM), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain
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Abstract

Recent advances have demonstrated that the adipose tissue plays a central role in regulating overall energy balance. Obesity results from a chronic deregulation of energy balance, with energy intake exceeding energy expenditure. Recently, new mechanisms that control the obesity phenotype such as the equilibrium between white and brown adipose tissue function has been identified. In this context, it is becoming increasingly clear that in addition to cellular growth, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) also regulate lipid metabolism and adipogenesis. Here, we review recent advances in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in white and brown differentiation programs focusing on AMPK and mTOR signaling pathways, which may play differential roles in white adipose tissue and brown adipose tissue development. In view of the worldwide epidemic of obesity and its associated metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, targeting these kinases may represent a potential approach for reducing adiposity and improving obesity-related diseases. © 2013 IUBMB Life, 65(7):572–583, 2013.

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