The Mammalian High Mobility Group Protein AT-Hook 2 (HMGA2): Biochemical and Biophysical Properties, and Its Association with Adipogenesis
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
The mammalian high-mobility-group protein AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) is a small DNA-binding protein and consists of three "AT-hook" DNA-binding motifs and a negatively charged C-terminal motif. It is a multifunctional nuclear protein directly linked to obesity, human height, stem cell youth, human intelligence, and tumorigenesis. Biochemical and biophysical studies showed that HMGA2 is an intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) and could form homodimers in aqueous buffer solution. The "AT-hook"
... "AT-hook" DNA-binding motifs specifically bind to the minor groove of AT-rich DNA sequences and induce DNA-bending. HMGA2 plays an important role in adipogenesis most likely through stimulating the proliferative expansion of preadipocytes and also through regulating the expression of transcriptional factor Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) at the clonal expansion step from preadipocytes to adipocytes. Current evidence suggests that a main function of HMGA2 is to maintain stemness and renewal capacity of stem cells by which HMGA2 binds to chromosome and lock chromosome into a specific state, to allow the human embryonic stem cells to maintain their stem cell potency. Due to the importance of HMGA2 in adipogenesis and tumorigenesis, HMGA2 is considered a potential therapeutic target for anticancer and anti-obesity drugs. Efforts are taken to identify inhibitors targeting HMGA2.