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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 184598, 7 pages
Review Article

The Role of Nrf2: Adipocyte Differentiation, Obesity, and Insulin Resistance

1Department of Internal Medicine, Daegu Fatima Hospital, 99 Ayang-ro, Dong-gu, Daegu 701-600, Republic of Korea
2Departments of Internal Medicine and Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Research Institute of Aging and Metabolism, WCU Program, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, 50 Samduk-2Ga, Jung-gu, Daegu 700-721, Republic of Korea

Received 11 June 2013; Revised 30 July 2013; Accepted 7 August 2013

Academic Editor: Ryuichi Morishita

Copyright © 2013 Hyun-Ae Seo and In-Kyu Lee. 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.


Metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity, are increasing globally, and much work has been performed to elucidate the regulatory mechanisms of these diseases. Nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a basic leucine zipper transcription factor that serves as a primary cellular defense against the cytotoxic effects of oxidative stress. Recent studies have proposed a close relationship between oxidative stress and energy metabolism-associated disease. The Nrf2 pathway, as a master regulator of cellular defense against oxidative stress, has emerged as a critical target of energy metabolism; however, its effects are controversial. This review examines the current state of research on the role of Nrf2 on energy metabolism, specifically with respect to its participation in adipocyte differentiation, obesity, and insulin resistance, and discusses the possibility of using Nrf2 as a therapeutic target in the clinic.