Effect of uncoupling protein-1 expression on 3T3-L1 adipocyte gene expression.
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The mitochondrial respiratory uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) partially uncouples substrate oxidation and oxidative phosphorylation to promote the dissipation of cellular biochemical energy as heat in brown adipose tissue. We have recently shown that expression of UCP1 in 3T3-L1 white adipocytes reduces the accumulation of triglycerides. Here, we investigated the molecular basis underlying UCP1 expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Gene expression data showed that forced UCP1 expression down-regulated several energy metabolism pathways; but ATP levels were constant. A metabolic flux analysis model was used to reflect the gene expression changes onto metabolic processes and concordance was observed in the down-regulation of energy consuming pathways. Our data suggest that adipocytes respond to long-term mitochondrial uncoupling by minimizing ATP utilization.