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Obesity is a worldwide epidemic as well as being a major risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and several types of cancers. Obesity is mainly due to the overgrowth of adipose tissue arising from an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. Adipose tissue, primarily composed of adipocytes, plays a key role in maintaining whole body energy homeostasis. In view of the treatment of obesity and obesity-related diseases, it is critical to understand the detailed signal transduction mechanisms of adipogenic differentiation. Adipogenic differentiation is tightly regulated by many key signal cascades, including insulin signaling. These signal cascades generally transfer or amplify the signal by using serial tyrosine phosphorylations. Thus, protein tyrosine kinases and protein tyrosine phosphatases are closely related to adipogenic differentiation. Compared to protein tyrosine kinases, protein tyrosine phosphatases have received little attention in adipogenic differentiation. This review aims to highlight the involvement of protein tyrosine phosphatases in adipogenic differentiation and the possibility of protein tyrosine phosphatases as drugs to target obesity. [BMB Reports 2012;45(12): 700-706]