Mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the UCP2gene.
Mitochondrial uncoupling proteins (UCP) are members of the larger family of mitochondrial anion carrier proteins (MACP). UCPs separate oxidative phosphorylation from ATP synthesis with energy dissipated as heat, also referred to as the mitochondrial proton leak. UCPs facilitate the transfer of anions from the inner to the outer mitochondrial membrane and the return transfer of protons from the outer to the inner mitochondrial membrane. They also reduce the mitochondrial membrane potential in mammalian cells. Tissue specificity occurs for the different UCPs and the exact methods of how UCPs transfer H+/OH- are not known. UCPs contain the three homologous protein domains of MACPs. This gene is expressed in many tissues, with the greatest expression in skeletal muscle. Although it was originally thought to play a role in nonshivering thermogenesis, obesity, diabetes and atherosclerosis, it now appears that the main function of UCP2 is the control of mitochondria-derived reactive oxygen species. Chromosomal order is 5'-UCP3-UCP2-3'.
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