RIP140 represses the "brown-in-white" adipocyte program including a futile cycle of triacyclglycerol breakdown and synthesis

Evangelos Kiskinis, Lemonia Chatzeli, Edward Curry, Myrsini Kaforou, Andrea Frontini, Saverio Cinti, Giovanni Montana, Malcolm G. Parker, Mark Christian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Receptor-interacting protein 140 (RIP140) is a corepressor of nuclear receptors that is highly expressed in adipose tissues.Weinvestigated the role of RIP140 in conditionally immortal preadipocyte cell lines prepared from white or brown fat depots. In white adipocytes, a large set of brown fat-associated genes was up-regulated in the absence of RIP140. In contrast, a relatively minor role can be ascribed to RIP140 in the control of basal gene expression in differentiated brown adipocytes because significant changes were observed only in Ptgds and Fabp3. The minor role of RIP140 in brown adipocytes correlates with the similar histology and uncoupling protein 1 and CIDEA staining in knockout compared with wild-type brown adipose tissue (BAT). In contrast, RIP140 knockout sc white adipose tissue (WAT) shows increased numbers of multilocular adipocytes with elevated staining for uncoupling protein 1 and CIDEA. Furthermore in a white adipocyte cell line, the markers of BRITE adipocytes, Tbx1, CD137, Tmem26, Cited1, and Epsti1 were repressed in the presence of RIP140 as was Prdm16. Microarray analysis of wild-type and RIP140-knockout white fat revealed elevated expression of genes associated with cold-induced expression or high expression in BAT. A set of genes associated with a futile cycle of triacylglycerol breakdown and resynthesis and functional assays revealed that glycerol kinase and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase activity as well as [3H]glycerol incorporation were elevated in the absence of RIP140. Thus, RIP140 blocks the BRITE program in WAT, preventing the expression of brown fat genes and inhibiting a triacylglycerol futile cycle, with important implications for energy homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-356
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Endocrinology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Molecular Biology


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