Friday, February 27, 2015

Study group discussion: Uncouplers of oxidative phosphorylation

In electron transport chain, cyanide inhibits the last step.

Even dicoumarol is an uncoupler.

There was another drug used for weight loss that's an uncoupler.. Which one was that?



Review question: What do new borns have that is an uncoupler? Why is it important?


Brown fat

I had to Google UCP 1. The answer I was expecting was simple brown fat :P
For those who don't know, UCP 1 or thermogenin is uncoupling protein 1 present in brown fat.

UCP-1 (Thermogenin) - Non shivering thermogenesis in brown fat in

I think, these UCP play great role when polar bear comes out from hibernation and also in human infant.

Yes, the polar bear!

Speaking of bears - What will happen to you if you eat a polar bear's liver?

Vitamin A toxicity?

Yes! Vitamin A toxicity! Mostly, increased intracranial pressure.

Why given term thermogenin?

Generate heat. Uncouplers dont generate ATP.

Ya, ATP formation replace by heat releasing process.

Aspirin high dose also acts as an uncoupler. Hence, we get hyperthermia in it.

This is interesting because aspirin is used as an antipyretic and it's overdose, paradoxically, causes fever.


What is an uncoupler?

Uncoupling protein also called ucp, cause leakage of proton from mitochondrial membrane.
This allows the proton to reenter the mitochondrial matrix without capturing ATP.
Uncoupler = Uncouples oxidation (ETC) from phosphorylation ie oxidation without phosphorylation.
So energy indtead of being trapped in ATP is displaced as HEAT (NON SHIVERING THERMOGENESIS)

Physiological uncouplers:
# UCP 1 thermogenin
# excess thyroxine
# unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia

Synthetic uncouplers:
# dicumorol (vit K analogues)
# asprin
# calcium
# valinomycin



A nice summary!

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