Mitochondrial import of the long and short isoforms of human uncoupling protein 3

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Human uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3) has two RNA transcripts that arise from the differential processing of the same gene product. One encodes the full length protein (UCP3L) while the other encodes a truncated version (UCP3S) lacking the sixth membrane spanning domain. The roles of the two isoforms are not known, but a mutation that decreases the proportion of UCP3L decreases fat oxidation and increases susceptibility to obesity. In the ADP/ATP carrier, a protein closely related to UCP3, the sixth membrane spanning domain is required for insertion into the inner membrane. Therefore, defective membrane insertion of UCP3S may account for the different effects of the two isoforms in vivo. We investigated mitochondrial import of the two UCP3 isoforms. When epitope-tagged versions of UCP3S and UCP3L were expressed in COS7 cells, both were inserted into the mitochondrial inner membrane. Translation in vitro followed by incubation with isolated mitochondria showed that both isoforms were inserted into the inner membrane, however, the insertion of UCP3S was significantly slower. Copyright (C) 2000 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.




Renold, A., Koehler, C. M., & Murphy, M. P. (2000). Mitochondrial import of the long and short isoforms of human uncoupling protein 3. FEBS Letters, 465(2–3), 135–140.

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