Hematopoietically-expressed homeobox protein HHEX regulates adipogenesis in preadipocytes

Maria N. Evseeva, Daniyar T. Dyikanov, Maxim N. Karagyaur, Tatyana A. Prikazchikova, Anna F. Sheptulina, Maria S. Balashova, Timofei S. Zatsepin, Yury P. Rubtsov, Konstantin Y. Kulebyakin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Obesity is a key health problem and is associated with a high risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Increased weight as well as dysregulation of adipocyte homeostasis are the main drivers of obesity. Pathological adipogenesis plays a central role in obesity-related complications such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and others. Thus, an understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in physiological and pathogenic adipogenesis can help to develop new strategies to prevent or cure obesity and related diseases. Previously, genetic polymorphisms in the HHEX gene that encodes the homeobox transcription factor HEX (PRH) were found to be associated with type 2 diabetes and high body mass index at birth by GWAS in distinct human populations. To understand whether HHEX has a regulatory function in adipogenesis, we performed RNAi-mediated knockdown of Hhex in preadipocyte cell line 3T3-L1 in vitro, and studied changes in the efficacy of adipogenesis. We found that Hhex knockdown blocks adipogenesis in preadipocytes in a dose-dependent manner and leads to a significant decrease of PPAR-gamma protein – the main regulator of adipogenesis. We also propose that Hhex can play an important role in adipocyte differentiation by affecting the level of the PPAR-gamma protein. Our study supports the claim that Hhex plays an important role in adipocyte differentiation program and can contribute to fat tissue homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-77
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • 3T3-L1
  • Adipogenesis
  • Hhex(PRH)
  • Obesity
  • PPAR-gamma


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