Stephen Jones Lab Publications


Dicer is required for the formation of white but not brown adipose tissue

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Cell Biology; Program in Molecular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Ribonuclease III; MicroRNAs; Adipocytes; Adipose Tissue, Brown; Adipose Tissue, White


Cell Biology


Dicer, an enzyme involved in microRNA maturation, is required for proper embryo gastrulation and tissue morphogenesis during mammalian development. Using primary cultures of fibroblasts and pre-adipocytes, we have previously shown that Dicer is essential for early stages of adipogenic cell differentiation. In this present study, we have utilized Dicer-conditional mice to explore a role for Dicer and microRNA biogenesis in the terminal differentiation of adipocytes in vivo and in the formation of white and brown adipose tissue. Deletion of Dicer in differentiated adipocytes in Dicer-conditional, aP2-Cre transgenic mice reduced the level of various adipogenic-associated transcripts and inhibited lipogenesis in white adipocytes, resulting in a severe depletion of white adipose tissue in mice. In contrast, Dicer was not required in vivo for lipogenesis in brown adipose or for brown fat formation. However, Dicer deletion in brown adipose did decrease the expression of genes involved in thermoregulation. The results of our study provide genetic evidence of a role for microRNA molecules in regulating adipogenesis and reveal distinct requirements for Dicer in the formation of white and brown adipose tissue. (c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

DOI of Published Version



J Cell Physiol. 2011 May;226(5):1399-406. doi: 10.1002/jcp.22475. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of cellular physiology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed