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The effect of adrenergic agents on protein phosphorylation in human adipocytes was examined. Freshly isolated human fat cells were incubated with 32PO4 in order to label intracellular ATP, then treated with a variety of adrenergic and other pharmacologic agents. Treatment with the beta-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol led to a significant increase in phosphate content of at least five protein bands (Mr 52, 53, 63, 67, 84 kDa). The increase in phosphorylation was partially inhibited by the alpha-2 agonist clonidine. Epinephrine, a combined alpha and beta agonist, was less effective at increasing phosphate content of the proteins than was isoproterenol. Neither insulin nor the alpha-1 agonist phenylephrine had any discernible effect on the pattern of protein phosphorylation. The 84 kDa phosphorylated peptide band appears to contain hormone-sensitive lipase, a key enzyme in the lipolytic pathway which is activated by phosphorylation. These results are somewhat different than previously reported results for rat adipocytes, and represent the first report of overall pattern and adrenergic modulation of protein phosphorylation in human adipocytes.


Journal article


Life Sci

Publication Date





849 - 858


Adipose Tissue, Autoradiography, Cells, Cultured, Clonidine, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, Epinephrine, Humans, Insulin, Isoproterenol, Lipolysis, Phenylephrine, Phosphates, Phosphorus Radioisotopes, Phosphorylation, Proteins, Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha, Receptors, Adrenergic, beta, Sterol Esterase