Adipose differentiation-related protein is an ubiquitously expressed lipid storage droplet-associated protein

Dawn L. Brasaemle, Therese Barber, Nathan E. Wolins, Ginette Serrero, E. Joan Blanchette-Mackie, Constantine Londos

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501 Scopus citations


The adipose differentiation-related protein (ADRP) was first characterized as a mRNA induced early during adipocyte differentiation (Jiang, H. P., and G. Serrero. 1992. Proc. Natl. Atari. Sci. USA. 89:7856- 7860). The present study demonstrates that ADRP mRNA is expressed in a variety of tissues and cultured cell lines. Immunocytochemical examination revealed that ADRP localizes to neutral lipid storage droplets in cultured murine 3T3-L1 adipocytes, murine MA-10 Leydig cells, Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) fibroblasts, and human HepG2 hepatoma cells; the association of ADRP with lipid droplets was confirmed by subcellular fractionation of MA-10 Leydig cells. In addition to ADRP, steroidogenic cells and adipocytes express the perilipins, a family of lipid droplet-associated proteins that share a highly related sequence domain with ADRP. ADRP and perilipins co-localize on lipid droplets in MA-10 Leydig cells. While ADRP was found on small lipid droplets in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes and early differentiated adipocytes, it was absent in maturing adipocytes. In contrast, perilipins were absent early during differentiation, but were found on small and large lipid droplets at later stages. The transition in surface protein composition of adipocyte lipid droplets from ADRP to perilipins occurred 3 days after the initiation of differentiation when cells displayed colocalization of both proteins on the same lipid droplets. The specific localization of adipose differentiation-related protein to lipid droplets in a wide variety of cells suggests that ADRP plays a role in management of neutral lipid stores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2249-2263
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


  • Cholesteryl ester
  • Fibroblasts
  • Hepatoma cells
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Perilipin
  • Steroidogenic cells
  • Triacylglycerol


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