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J Biol Chem. 2001 Mar 23;276(12):8705-12. Epub 2000 Nov 29.

Uncoupling protein 2, in vivo distribution, induction upon oxidative stress, and evidence for translational regulation.

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CEREMOD (UPR 9078 CNRS), 9 Rue Jules Hetzel, 92190 Meudon, France.


Uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) belongs to the mitochondrial anion carrier family and partially uncouples respiration from ATP synthesis when expressed in recombinant yeast mitochondria. We generated a highly sensitive polyclonal antibody against human UCP2. Its reactivity toward mitochondrial proteins was compared between wild type and ucp2(-/-) mice, leading to non-ambiguous identification of UCP2. We detected UCP2 in spleen, lung, stomach, and white adipose tissue. No UCP2 was detected in heart, skeletal muscle, liver, and brown adipose tissue. The level of UCP2 in spleen mitochondria is less than 1% of the level of UCP1 in brown adipose tissue mitochondria. Starvation and LPS treatments increase UCP2 level up to 12 times in lung and stomach, which supports the hypothesis that UCP2 responds to oxidative stress situations. Stimulation of the UCP2 expression occurs without any change in UCP2 mRNA levels. This is explained by translational regulation of the UCP2 mRNA. We have shown that an upstream open reading frame located in exon two of the ucp2 gene strongly inhibits the expression of the protein. This further level of regulation of the ucp2 gene provides a mechanism by which expression can be strongly and rapidly induced under stress conditions.

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