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- HISTORY OF THE FIRST UNCOUPLING PROTEIN, UCP1
- UCP2, A SINGULAR PROTEIN AMONG THE UNCOUPLING PROTEINS
- DO THE NEW UCPS EVEN HAVE UNCOUPLING ACTIVITY?
- UCP2 AS A METABOLIC SENSOR OR REGULATOR
- COULD PYRUVATE EXPORT EXPLAIN THE UCP2−/− MICE PHENOTYPES?
Mitochondrial uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation may serve a variety of purposes such as the regulation of substrate oxidation, free radical production (a major by-product of mitochondrial respiration) and ATP production and turnover. As regulators of energy expenditure and antioxidant defenses, uncoupling proteins would seem to offer an attractive mechanism by which to explain the control of body weight, resting metabolic rate and aging. As a result, the discovery of UCP1 homologues has led to an impressive number of publications. However, 10 years after their identification, no consensus has been found concerning the function of UCP homologues, and there are controversies as to whether or not they even have physiologically significant uncoupling activity. Here, we discuss a potential new function for UCP2, as a carrier involved in the coupling between glucose oxidation and mitochondrial metabolism. © 2009 IUBMB IUBMB Life 61(7): 762–767, 2009