Fasting activates the gene expression of UCP3 independent of genes necessary for lipid transport and oxidation in skeletal muscle

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Jun 7;294(2):301-8. doi: 10.1016/S0006-291X(02)00473-4.


Fasting triggers a complex array of adaptive metabolic and hormonal responses including an augmentation in the capacity for mitochondrial fatty acid (FA) oxidation in skeletal muscle. This study hypothesized that this adaptive response is mediated by increased mRNA of key genes central to the regulation of fat oxidation in human skeletal muscle. Fasting dramatically increased UCP3 gene expression, by 5-fold at 15 h and 10-fold at 40 h. However the expression of key genes responsible for the uptake, transport, oxidation, and re-esterification of FA remained unchanged following 15 and 40 h of fasting. Likewise there was no change in the mRNA abundance of transcription factors. This suggests a unique role for UCP3 in the regulation of FA homeostasis during fasting as adaptation to 40 h of fasting does not require alterations in the expression of other genes necessary for lipid metabolism.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
  • Adult
  • Biological Transport / physiology
  • Blood Glucose
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Fasting / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Glycerol / blood
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Ion Channels
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Muscle, Skeletal / chemistry
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reference Values
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Uncoupling Protein 3


  • Blood Glucose
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Insulin
  • Ion Channels
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Factors
  • UCP3 protein, human
  • Uncoupling Protein 3
  • Glycerol