Stephen Jones Lab Publications


An essential role for Dicer in adipocyte differentiation

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Cell Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



Ribonuclease III; MicroRNAs; Adipocytes; Cell Differentiation


Cell Biology


Dicer is a cellular enzyme required for the processing of pre-miRNA molecules into mature miRNA, and Dicer and miRNA biogenesis have been found to play important roles in a variety of physiologic processes. Recently, reports of alterations in miRNA expression levels in cultured pre-adipogenic cell lines during differentiation and findings of differences between the miRNA expression signatures of white and brown adipose have suggested that miRNA molecules might regulate adipocyte differentiation and the formation of adipose tissue. However, direct evidence that miRNAs regulate adipogenesis is lacking. To determine if Dicer and mature miRNA govern adipocyte differentiation, we utilized primary cells isolated from mice bearing Dicer-conditional alleles to study adipogenesis in the presence or absence of miRNA biogenesis. Our results reveal that Dicer is required for adipogenic differentiation of mouse embryonic fibroblasts and primary cultures of pre-adipocytes. Furthermore, the requirement for Dicer in adipocyte differentiation is not due to miRNA-mediated alterations in cell proliferation, as deletion of the Ink4a locus and the prevention of premature cellular senescence normally induced in primary cells upon Dicer ablation fails to rescue adipogenic differentiation in fibroblasts and pre-adipocytes.

DOI of Published Version



J Cell Biochem. 2010 Jul 1;110(4):812-6. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of cellular biochemistry

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed