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Dual transport function of mitochondrial uncoupling proteins

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The mitochondrial carrier superfamily (SLC25) comprises at least 53 proteins and is the largest family of solute transporters in humans. Members of this family transport various solutes across the mitochondrial membrane, including carboxylic acids, amino acids, inorganic ions, fatty acids, C4-metabolites and nucleotides. Several family members were described as proton transporters. Although these membrane proteins are crucial for many cellular processes, their precise structures, biological functions, and transport mechanisms remain highly controversial. I focus on two subfamilies: uncoupling proteins (UCP1-UCP4) and adenine nucleotide translocase 1 (ANT1). I present a new concept for UCP expression in mammalian tissues, explaining their involvement in mitochondrial metabolism. Finally, I discuss the existing hypotheses on UCP and ANT -mediated proton transport and present our model for ANT -mediated fatty acid (FA) anion translocation as part of the FA cycling mechanism.

This talk is part of the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit Seminars series.

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