Mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) in glucose and lipid metabolism

Trends Mol Med. 2012 Jan;18(1):52-8. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2011.08.003. Epub 2011 Sep 12.


Nutrient availability is critical for the physiological functions of all tissues. By contrast, an excess of nutrients such as carbohydrate and fats impair health and shorten life due by stimulating chronic diseases, including diabetes, cancer and neurodegeneration. The control of circulating glucose and lipid levels involve mitochondria in both central and peripheral mechanisms of metabolism regulation. Mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) has been implicated in physiological and pathological processes related to glucose and lipid metabolism, and in this review we discuss the latest data on the relationships between UCP2 and glucose and lipid sensing from the perspective of specific hypothalamic neuronal circuits and peripheral tissue functions. The goal is to provide a framework for discussion of future therapeutic strategies for metabolism-related chronic diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agouti-Related Protein / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Glucagon-Secreting Cells / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism
  • Ion Channels / metabolism*
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Pro-Opiomelanocortin / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Uncoupling Protein 2


  • Agouti-Related Protein
  • Ion Channels
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • UCP2 protein, human
  • Uncoupling Protein 2
  • Pro-Opiomelanocortin
  • Glucose