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, 134, 86-92

Transcriptional Regulation of the Uncoupling protein-1 Gene


Transcriptional Regulation of the Uncoupling protein-1 Gene

Francesc Villarroya et al. Biochimie.


Regulated transcription of the uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1) gene, and subsequent UCP1 protein synthesis, is a hallmark of the acquisition of the differentiated, thermogenically competent status of brown and beige/brite adipocytes, as well as of the responsiveness of brown and beige/brite adipocytes to adaptive regulation of thermogenic activity. The 5' non-coding region of the UCP1 gene contains regulatory elements that confer tissue specificity, differentiation dependence, and neuro-hormonal regulation to UCP1 gene transcription. Two main regions-a distal enhancer and a proximal promoter region-mediate transcriptional regulation through interactions with a plethora of transcription factors, including nuclear hormone receptors and cAMP-responsive transcription factors. Co-regulators, such as PGC-1α, play a pivotal role in the concerted regulation of UCP1 gene transcription. Multiple interactions of transcription factors and co-regulators at the promoter region of the UCP1 gene result in local chromatin remodeling, leading to activation and increased accessibility of RNA polymerase II and subsequent gene transcription. Moreover, a commonly occurring A-to-G polymorphism in close proximity to the UCP1 gene enhancer influences the extent of UCP1 gene transcription. Notably, it has been reported that specific aspects of obesity and associated metabolic diseases are associated with human population variability at this site. On another front, the unique properties of the UCP1 promoter region have been exploited to develop brown adipose tissue-specific gene delivery tools for experimental purposes.

Keywords: Beige adipose tissue; Brown adipose tissue; Transcription; Uncoupling protein-1.

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