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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2009 Jun;29(6):1069-78. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2009.4. Epub 2009 Feb 25.

Neuroprotective role of mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 in cerebral stroke.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biotechnical Research Institute and Technology Research Enterprise (BRITE), North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina, USA. smehta@nccu.edu


The uncoupling proteins (UCPs) are mitochondrial transporter proteins involved in proton conductance across inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM). UCP2, which is one of the members of this class of proteins, has a wide but restricted tissue distribution including brain. Its physiologic role according to emerging evidences, although still not clear, indicate that distribution of UCP2 may be related to regulation of mitochondria membrane potential (DeltaPsim), production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), preservation of calcium homeostasis, modulation of neuronal activity, and eventually inhibition of cellular damage. These factors are very important in determining the fate of neurons and damage progression in the brain during various neurodegenerative diseases including cerebral stroke. Recent evidence indicates that an increased expression and activity of UCP2 are well correlated with neuronal survival after stroke and trauma. This review briefly covers the present understanding of UCP2, which eventually may be beneficial to understand the precise role of UCP2 to develop strategy to identify its potential therapeutic application.

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