The mitochondrial uncoupling-protein homologues

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2005 Mar;6(3):248-61. doi: 10.1038/nrm1592.


Uncoupling protein(UCP)1 is an integral membrane protein that is located in the mitochondrial inner membrane of brown adipocytes. Its physiological role is to mediate a regulated, thermogenic proton leak. UCP2 and UCP3 are recently identified UCP1 homologues. They also mediate regulated proton leak, and might function to control the production of superoxide and other downstream reactive oxygen species. However, their role in normal physiology remains unknown. Recent studies have shown that UCP2 has an important part in the pathogenesis of type-2 diabetes. The obscure roles of the UCP homologues in normal physiology, together with their emerging role in pathophysiology, provide exciting potential for further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Ion Channels
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans / pathology
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / genetics*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / physiology*
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics*
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / physiology*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Uncoupling Protein 1
  • Uncoupling Protein 2
  • Uncoupling Protein 3


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Ion Channels
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • UCP1 protein, human
  • UCP2 protein, human
  • UCP3 protein, human
  • Uncoupling Protein 1
  • Uncoupling Protein 2
  • Uncoupling Protein 3