Commitment of mouse fibroblasts to adipocyte differentiation by DNA transfection

Science  05 May 1989:
Vol. 244, Issue 4904, pp. 582-585
DOI: 10.1126/science.2470149


Cells of the mouse cell line 3T3-F442A can be induced by various hormones to differentiate into adipocytes, whereas cells of 3T3-C2, a subclone of 3T3, cannot. However, transfection of DNA from uninduced 3T3-F422A cells into 3T3-C2 cells permits recovery of 3T3-C2 transfectants that differentiate into adipocytes in the presence of insulin. DNA isolated from human fat tissue, when transfected into 3T3-C2 mouse cells, also gives rise to mouse transfectants that are induced to differentiate into adipocytes by the addition of insulin. Apparently, transfection of a trans-regulatory gene (or genes) from 3T3-F442A or human fat cells into 3T3-C2 cells is sufficient to commit 3T3-C2 cells to adipocyte differentiation.