Brown and beige adipose tissues can catabolize stored energy to generate heat, relying on the principal effector of thermogenesis: uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1). This unique capability could be leveraged as a therapy for metabolic disease. Numerous animal and cellular models have now demonstrated that mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) signal to support adipocyte thermogenic identity and function. Herein, we contextualize these findings within the established principles of redox signaling and mechanistic studies of UCP1 function. We provide a framework for understanding the role of mitochondrial ROS signaling in thermogenesis together with testable hypotheses for understanding mechanisms and developing therapies.
Keywords: adipocyte; adipose tissue; adipose tissue metabolism; mitochondria; reactive oxygen species (ROS); thermogenesis.
© 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.