Proteomics in the characterization of adipose dysfunction in obesity

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Adipose tissue plays a central role in body weight homeostasis, inflammation, and insulin resistance via serving as a fat-buffering system, regulating lipid storage and mobilization and releasing a large range of adipokines and cytokines. Adipose tissue is also the major inflammation-initiated site in obesity. Adipose-derived adipokines and cytokines are known to be involved in the modulation of a wide range of important physiological processes, particularly immune response, glucose and lipid homeostasis and insulin resistance. Adipose tissue dysfunction, characterized by an imbalanced secretion of pro- and anti-inflammatory adipokines and cytokines, decreased insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, dysregulation of lipid storage and release and mitochondrial dysfunction, has been linked to obesity and its associated metabolic disorders. Proteomic technology has been a powerful tool for identifying key components of the adipose proteome, which may contribute to the pathogenesis of adipose tissue dysfunction in obesity. In this review, we summarized the recent advances in the proteomic characterization of adipose tissue and discussed the identified proteins that potentially play important roles in insulin resistance and lipid homeostasis.

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