Emerging perspectives on branched-chain amino acid metabolism during adipocyte differentiation

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Purpose of review

Adipogenesis has been extensively studied in the context of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. However, little information exists on the role of amino acid metabolism during adipocyte differentiation. Here, we review how branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) metabolism is modified during adipogenesis and, due to the limited information in the area, address questions that remain to be answered with further research.

Recent findings

BCAAs are rapidly consumed during adipocyte differentiation and are indispensable for this process. Furthermore, we describe how BCAA catabolic enzymes and the metabolic fate of BCAAs are modified during adipogenesis.


Obesity is a chronic disease characterized by increased adipose tissue due to either an increase in the size (hypertrophy) and/or number of adipocytes (hyperplasia). Hyperplasia is determined by the rate of adipogenesis. Therefore, understanding the mechanism that modulates adipogenesis in the context of amino acid metabolism will help to establish pharmacological and dietary interventions involving the type and amount of dietary protein for the treatment of obesity and its associated comorbidities.


Video abstract http://links.lww.com/COCN/A11.

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