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Keywords:

  • BROWN ADIPOSE TISSUE;
  • UCP1;
  • ATP SYNTHASE;
  • MITOCHONDRIAL BIOENERGETICS

Abstract

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is specialized in non-shivering thermogenesis through the expression of the mitochondrial uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1). In this paper, we describe the relationship between UCP1 and proteins involved in ATP synthesis. By the use of BATIRKO mice, which have enhanced UCP1 expression in BAT, an increase in ATP synthase as well as in ubiquinol cytochrome c reductase levels was observed. Alterations in mitochondrial mass or variations in ATP levels were not observed in BAT of these mice. In addition, using a protocol of brown adipocyte differentiation, the concerted expression of UCP1 with ATP synthase was found. These two scenarios revealed that increases in the uncoupling machinery of brown adypocites must be concomitantly followed by an enhancement of proteins involved in ATP synthesis. These concerted changes reflect the need to maintain ATP production in an essentially uncoupling cell type. J. Cell. Biochem. 114: 2306–2313, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.