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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2015, Article ID 521381, 7 pages
Review Article

Role of FTO in Adipocyte Development and Function: Recent Insights

1Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3PT, UK
2School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AS, UK

Received 7 October 2015; Revised 24 November 2015; Accepted 25 November 2015

Academic Editor: Youngah Jo

Copyright © 2015 Myrte Merkestein and Dyan Sellayah. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In 2007, FTO was identified as the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) gene associated with obesity in humans. Since then, various animal models have served to establish the mechanistic basis behind this association. Many earlier studies focussed on FTO’s effects on food intake via central mechanisms. Emerging evidence, however, implicates adipose tissue development and function in the causal relationship between perturbations in FTO expression and obesity. The purpose of this mini review is to shed light on these new studies of FTO function in adipose tissue and present a clearer picture of its impact on obesity susceptibility.