Indexed on: 15 Sep '14Published on: 15 Sep '14Published in: Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes
The integrity of mitochondrial function is essential to cell life. It follows that disturbances of mitochondrial function will lead to disruption of cell function, expressed as disease or even death. Considering that neuronal uncoupling proteins (UCPs) decrease reactive oxygen species (ROS) production at the expense of energy production, it is important to understand the underlying mechanisms by which UCPs control the balance between the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and ROS in the context of normal physiological activity and in pathological conditions. Here we review the current understanding of neuronal UCPs-mediated respiratory uncoupling process by performing a survey in their physiology and regulation. The latest findings regarding neuronal UCPs physiological roles and their involvement and interest as potential targets for therapeutic intervention in brain diseases will also be exploited.