Get access

The polymorphisms of UCP2 and UCP3 genes associated with fat metabolism, obesity and diabetes


  • The research reported herein was funded by grants from projects: Yunnan Natural Found Project of the People's Republic of China: a role for uncoupling proteins in the control of energy utilization in pigs (2003C0048M); the relationship of the polymorphisms of UCP2 gene and economic trait in pigs (2006C0033Q); the foundation for talented man training in Yunnan Province of the People's Republic of China (2008PY043).

C-R Ge, Yunnan Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Feed, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming 650201, Yunnan Province, China. E-mail:


Uncoupling proteins (UCPs) belong to the family of mitochondrial transporter proteins that may uncouple the transport of protons across the inner mitochondrial membrane from electron transport and the synthesis of ATP from ADP, hence generating heat rather than energy. In mammals, more than five family members have been identified, including UCP1, UCP2, UCP3, UCP4 (or BMCP1/UCP5) and UCP5. The UCPs may play an important role in energy homeostasis and have become prominent in the fields of thermogenesis, obesity, diabetes and free-radical biology and have been considered candidate genes for obesity and insulin resistance. They have been as important potential targets for treatment of aging, degenerative diseases, diabetes and obesity. Recently, a series of studies showed the polymorphisms of UCPs gene association with the fat metabolism, obesity and diabetes. This review summarizes data supporting the roles of UCP2 and UCP3 in energy dissipation, as well as the genetic variety association with fat metabolism, obesity and diabetes in humans.