The emerging functions of UCP2 in health, disease, and therapeutics

Gustav Mattiasson, Patrick G. Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


The uncoupling proteins (UCPs) are attracting an increased interest as potential therapeutic targets in a number of important diseases. UCP2 is expressed in several tissues, but its physiological functions as well as potential therapeutic applications are still unclear. Unlike UCP1, UCP2 does not seem to be important to thermogenesis or weight control, but appears to have an important role in the regulation of production of reactive oxygen species, inhibition of inflammation, and inhibition of cell death. These are central features in, for example, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disease, and experimental evidence suggests that an increased expression and activity of UCP2 in models of these diseases has a beneficial effect on disease progression, implicating a potential therapeutic role for UCP2. UCP2 has an important role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes by inhibiting insulin secretion in islet beta cells. At the same time, type 2 diabetes is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis where an increased expression of UCP2 appears to be beneficial. This illustrates that therapeutic applications involving UCP2 likely will have to regulate expression and activity in a tissue-specific manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-38
Number of pages38
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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