AKC seminar: Transcriptional control of adipogenesis – regulating the master switch

Susanne MandrupAugust Krogh Seminar

Professor Susanne Mandrup

Center for Functional Genomics and Tissue Plasticity. Functional Genomics & Metabolism Research Unit, Dept. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark.


Cellular differentiation is driven by the coordinated action of many different transcription factors that cooperate to activate lineage selective gene programs. Transcriptional master regulators play a special role as obligate molecular switches driving the activation of the differentiated gene regulatory network.

The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) and CCAT/enhancer binding protein α (C/EBPα) are master regulators of adipogenesis where they cooperate to directly activate the expression of the adipocyte gene program.

Major unanswered questions are

1) how these master regulators are regulated such that they can be effectively induced under the right conditions and at the same time avoid premature induction; and

2) which biochemical/biophysical properties of these proteins allow them to act as master regulators once expressed at sufficiently high levels.

I will present recent genomic and molecular insights into how the PPARG locus is activated in preadipocytes in response to the adipogenic inducers as well as recent data related to the biochemical features of PPARγ that may contribute to the ability of this transcription factor to act as a master regulator. Finally, I will discuss how genomic variations in the PPARG lead to human diseases.




Susanne Mandrup is Professor at Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Southern Denmark where she serves as Director of the Center of Excellence in Functional Genomics and Tissue Plasticity (ATLAS) and Center for Adipocyte Signaling (ADIPOSIGN), as well as Head of the Functional Genomics & Metabolism Research Unit. Furthermore, she is Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Danish Institute of Advanced Study (DIAS).

Dr. Mandrup obtained her PhD in Biochemistry in 1992 from the University of Southern Denmark (formerly Odense University) and was postdoc in the lab of Prof. M. Daniel Lane at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore 1995-96. She was recruited back to Odense as Assistant Professor in 1996 and promoted to full Professor in 2008.

The Mandrup Group has contributed significantly to the genome-wide understanding the cross-talk between transcriptional regulation and metabolism, particularly in the context of adipocyte differentiation and function. The current focus of the group is to understand the in vivo plasticity of cells in adipose tissue and the endocrine pancreas, and to understand the basic mechanisms of transcriptional enhancers and their role in regulating adipogenesis. The group combines sequencing-based functional-genomics approaches with detailed molecular analyses to study these processes in mouse models, human biopsies, and cell cultures.

Dr. Mandrup is an elected member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Academia Europaea, AcademiaNet, and the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), and she serves on the Carlsberg Foundation Board of Directors. She is Knight of the Order of Dannebrog.



29 September 2023

14:00-15:00: Seminar and discussion
15:00-16:00: Post seminar servings and socializing


Auditorium 1, August Krogh Building, Universitetsparken 13, DK-2100 Copenhagen


Participation is free, but please register here.

For PhD students

PhD students participating in August Krogh seminars receive 0,2 ECTS per seminar


Jens Frey Halling, jefh@nexs.ku.dk

Kate Aiko Wickham, kawi@nexs.ku.dk 

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