Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 12351640
J. Biol. Chem. 2002 Dec;277(49):47407-11
Uncoupling protein-3 (UCP3), which is expressed abundantly in skeletal muscle, is one of the carrier proteins dissipating the transmitochondrial electrochemical gradient as heat and has therefore been implicated in the regulation of energy metabolism. Myoblasts or differentiated muscle cells in vitro expressed little if any UCP3, compared with the levels detected in biopsies of skeletal muscle. In the present report, we sought to investigate UCP3 mRNA expression in human muscle generated by myoblast transplantation in the skeletal muscle of an immunodeficient mouse model. Time course experiments demonstrated that 7-8 weeks following transplantation fully differentiated human muscle fibers were formed. The presence of differentiated human muscle fibers was assessed by quantitative PCR measurement of the human alpha-actin mRNA together with immunohistochemical staining using specific antibodies for spectrin and the slow adult myosin heavy chain. Interestingly, we found that the expression of UCP3 mRNA was dependant on human muscle differentiation and that the UCP3 mRNA level was comparable with that found in human muscle biopsies. Moreover, the human UCP3 (hUCP3) promoter seems to be fully functional, since triiodothyronine treatment of the mice not only stimulated the mouse UCP3 (mUCP3) mRNA expression but also strongly stimulated the hUCP3 mRNA expression in human fibers formed after myoblast transplantation. To our knowledge, this is the first time that primary myoblasts could be induced to express the UCP3 gene at a level comparable of that found in human muscle fibers.