Purine nucleotide degradation disinhibits UCP1 activity in brown fat cells
Recent publication in Molecular Metabolism
Tobias Fromme at the Chair of Molecular Nutritional Medicine took the lead in this study published in Molecular Metabolism. It has been widely accepted that uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), formerly known as GDP-binding protein, is inhibited by binding of purine nucleotides (GDP, GTP, ADP, ATP). Due to high millimolar concentrations in cells, it was concluded that this inhibition is constitutive and does not contribute to the regulation of UCP1 activity. In our study we discovered that adrenergic activation of brown fat cells causes rapid degradation of purine nucleotides and a rise in bivalent cations thereby disinhibiting uncoupling protein 1 mediated thermogenesis in brown fat cells.