Journal Article

Role of the high mobility group A* proteins in human lipomas

Monica Fedele, Sabrina Battista, Guidalberto Manfioletti, Carlo Maria Croce, Vincenzo Giancotti and Alfredo Fusco

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 22, issue 10, pages 1583-1591
Published in print October 2001 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online October 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Role of the high mobility group A* proteins in human lipomas

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The HMGA family is comprised of four proteins: HMGA1a, HMGA1b, HMGA1c and HMGA2. The first three proteins are products of the same gene, HMGA1, generated through an alternative splicing mechanism. The HMGA proteins are involved in the regulation of chromatin structure and HMGA DNA-binding sites have been identified in functional regions of many gene promoters. Rearrangements of the HMGA2 gene have been frequently detected in human benign tumors of mesenchymal origin including lipomas. 12q13-15 chromosomal translocations involving the HMGA2 gene locus, account for these rearrangements. The HMGA proteins have three AT-hook domains and an acidic C-terminal tail. The HMGA2 modifications consist in the loss of the C-terminal tail and fusion with ectopic sequences. A pivotal role of the HMGA2 rearrangements in the process of lipomagenesis is suggested by experiments showing that transgenic mice carrying a truncated HMGA2 gene showed a giant phenotype together with abdominal/pelvic lipomatosis. As HMGA2 null mice showed a great reduction in fat tissue, a positive role of the HMGA2 gene in adipocytic cell proliferation is proposed. More recently, similar alterations of the HMGA1 gene have been described. As the block of the HMGA1 protein synthesis induces an increase in growth rate of the pre-adipocytic cell line 3T3-L1, we suggest a negative role of the HMGA1 proteins in adipocytic cell growth and, therefore, we propose that adipocytic cell growth derives from the balance of the HMGA1 and HMGA2 protein functions.

Journal Article.  8812 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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