The conversion of determined adipoblasts to fully differentiated adipocytes requires appropriate environmental conditions. A strict dependence on cell confluence and a facilitation by glucocorticoid hormones have previously been described. We have found that agents that are capable of activating protein kinase C, such as basic fibroblast growth factor and phorbol esters, inhibit the differentiation of the adipogenic cell line TA1 without stimulating cell growth. Here we describe the sequence and characterization of a cDNA (clone 5) that detects an RNA, the expression of which is enhanced by glucocorticoids and increasing cell density. In contrast, activators of protein kinase C including basic fibroblast growth factor, phorbol esters, and synthetic diacylglycerols inhibit clone 5 gene expression. It appears that clone 5 expression is closely linked to environmental and hormonal factors that promote the differentiation of adipogenic cells.

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