Transcriptional and epigenetic control of brown and beige adipose cell fate and function

Takeshi Inagaki, Juro Sakai, Shingo Kajimura

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

157 Citations (Scopus)


White adipocytes store excess energy in the form of triglycerides, whereas brown and beige adipocytes dissipate energy in the form of heat. This thermogenic function relies on the activation of brown and beige adipocyte-specific gene programmes that are coordinately regulated by adipose-selective chromatin architectures and by a set of unique transcriptional and epigenetic regulators. A number of transcriptional and epigenetic regulators are also required for promoting beige adipocyte biogenesis in response to various environmental stimuli. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing the generation and function of brown and beige adipocytes is necessary to allow us to control adipose cell fate and stimulate thermogenesis. This may provide a therapeutic approach for the treatment of obesity and obesity-associated diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-495
Number of pages16
JournalNature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 21
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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