Src-family tyrosine kinases mediate many receptor signals to various biological responses. Here we investigate the requirement of Src-family tyrosine kinases in adipogenesis. The biochemical mechanism by which insulin induces adipogenesis, converting fibroblast cells to adipocytes, is not clear. We show that fibroblast cells deficient of three ubiquitously expressed Src-family members (Src, Yes, and Fyn), SYF cells, are refractory to hormonally induced fat accumulation. The defect is rescued by reintroduction of c-Src into SYF cells. Furthermore, Src-family tyrosine kinases are required in the early steps of insulin signaling; it is responsible for the tyrosine phosphorylation of adaptor protein c-Cbl. Deficiency of c-Cbl blocked adipogenesis. These genetic and biochemical data clearly demonstrate that Src-family tyrosine kinases serve as a critical signal relay, via phosphorylation of c-Cbl, for fat accumulation, and provide potential new strategies for treating obesity.
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