Uncoupling protein

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"uncoupler" redirects here. It is not to be confused with coupler or decouple.
"uncouples" redirects here. For other uses, see Uncouple.
Mitochondrial Uncoupling Protein 2

An uncoupling protein is a mitochondrial inner membrane protein that can dissipate the proton gradient before it can be used[clarification needed] to provide the energy for oxidative phosphorylation.[1]

There are five types known in mammals:

Uncoupling proteins play a role in normal physiology, as in cold exposure or hibernation, because the energy is used to generate heat (see thermogenesis) instead of producing ATP. However, other substances such as 2,4-dinitrophenol and CCCP also serve the same uncoupling function, and are considered poisonous. Salicylic acid is also an uncoupling agent and will decrease production of ATP and increase body temperature if taken in excess.[2] Uncoupling proteins are increased by thyroid hormone, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and leptin.[3]


  1. ^ Nedergaard J, Ricquier D, Kozak LP (2005). "Uncoupling proteins: current status and therapeutic prospects". EMBO Rep. 6 (10): 917–21. doi:10.1038/sj.embor.7400532. PMC 1369193. PMID 16179945. 
  2. ^ "California Poison Control System: Salicylates". 
  3. ^ Gong DW, He Y, Karas M, Reitman M (1997). "Uncoupling protein-3 is a mediator of thermogenesis regulated by thyroid hormone, β3-adrenergic agonists, and leptin". J Biol Chem 272 (39): 24129–32. doi:10.1074/jbc.272.39.24129. PMID 9305858. 

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