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FEBS Lett. 1999 Apr 23;449(2-3):129-34.

Assessment of uncoupling activity of uncoupling protein 3 using a yeast heterologous expression system.

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Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Uncoupling protein 3L, uncoupling protein 1 and the mitochondrial oxoglutarate carrier were expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisae. Effects on different parameters related to the energy expenditure were studied. Both uncoupling protein 3L and uncoupling protein 1 reduced the growth rate by 49% and 32% and increased the whole yeast O2 consumption by 31% and 19%, respectively. In isolated mitochondria, uncoupling protein 1 increased the state 4 respiration by 1.8-fold, while uncoupling protein 3L increased the state 4 respiration by 1.2-fold. Interestingly, mutant uncoupling protein 1 carrying the H145Q and H147N mutations, previously shown to markedly decrease the H+ transport activity of uncoupling protein 1 when assessed using a proteoliposome system (Bienengraeber et al. (1998) Biochem. 37, 3-8), uncoupled the mitochondrial respiration to almost the same degree as wild-type uncoupling protein 1. Thus, absence of this histidine pair in uncoupling protein 2 and uncoupling protein 3 does not by itself rule out the possibility that these carriers have an uncoupling function. The oxoglutarate carrier had no effect on any of the studied parameters. In summary, a discordance exists between the magnitude of effects of uncoupling protein 3L and uncoupling protein 1 in whole yeast versus isolated mitochondria, with uncoupling protein 3L having greater effects in whole yeast and a smaller effect on the state 4 respiration in isolated mitochondria. These findings suggest that uncoupling protein 3L, like uncoupling protein 1, has an uncoupling activity. However, the mechanism of action and/or regulation of the activity of uncoupling protein 3L is likely to be different.

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