A smooth muscle-like origin for beige adipocytes

Jonathan Z. Long, Katrin J. Svensson, Linus Tsai, Xing Zeng, Hyun C. Roh, Xingxing Kong, Rajesh R. Rao, Jesse Lou, Isha Lokurkar, Wendy Baur, John J. Castellot, Evan D. Rosen, Bruce M. Spiegelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

337 Scopus citations


Thermogenic UCP1-positive cells, which include brown and beige adipocytes, transform chemical energy into heat and increase whole-body energy expenditure. Using a ribosomal profiling approach, we present a comprehensive molecular description of brown and beige gene expression from multiple fat depots in vivo. This UCP1-TRAP data set demonstrates striking similarities and important differences between these cell types, including a smooth muscle-like signature expressed by beige, but not classical brown, adipocytes. In vivo fate mapping using either a constitutive or an inducible Myh11-driven Cre demonstrates that at least a subset of beige cells arise from a smooth muscle-like origin. Finally, ectopic expression of PRDM16 converts bona fide vascular smooth muscle cells into Ucp1-positive adipocytes in vitro. These results establish a portrait of brown and beige adipocyte gene expression in vivo and identify a smooth muscle-like origin for beige cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)810-820
Number of pages11
JournalCell Metabolism
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 6 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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