Arp2/3 complex regulates adipogenesis by controlling cortical actin remodelling

Wulin Yang, Shermaine Thein, Chun Yan Lim, Russell E. Ericksen, Shigeki Sugii, Feng Xu, Robert C. Robinson, Jae Bum Kim, Weiping Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Extensive actin cytoskeleton remodelling occurs during adipocyte development. We have previously shown that disruption of stress fibres by the actin-severing protein cofilin is a requisite step in adipogenesis. However, it remains unclear whether actin nucleation and assembly into the cortical structure are essential for adipocyte development. In the present study we investigated the role of cortical actin assembly and of actin nucleation by the actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex in adipogenesis. Cortical actin structure formation started with accumulation of filamentous actin (F-actin) patches near the plasma membrane during adipogenesis. Depletion of Arp2/3 by knockdown of its subunits Arp3 or ARPC3 strongly impaired adipocyte differentiation, although adipogenesis-initiating factors were unaffected. Moreover, the assembly of F-actin-rich structures at the plasma membrane was suppressed and the cortical actin structure poorly developed after adipogenic induction in Arp2/3-deficient cells. Finally, we provide evidence that the cortical actin cytoskeleton is essential for efficient glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) vesicle exocytosis and insulin signal transduction. These results show that the Arp2/3 complex is an essential regulator of adipocyte development through control of the formation of cortical actin structures,which may facilitate nutrient uptake and signalling events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-192
Number of pages14
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Actin remodelling
  • Actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3)
  • Adipogenesis
  • Insulin signalling
  • Nucleation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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