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Marsupial uncoupling protein 1 sheds light on the evolution of mammalian nonshivering thermogenesis


Jastroch, M and Withers, KW and Taudien, S and Frappell, P and Helwig, M and Fromme, T and Hirschberg, V and Heldmaier, G and McAllan, BM and Firth, BT and Burmester, T and Platzer, M and Klingenspor, M, Marsupial uncoupling protein 1 sheds light on the evolution of mammalian nonshivering thermogenesis, Physiological Genomics, 32, (2) pp. 161-169. ISSN 1094-8341 (2008) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2011 the American Physiological Society

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DOI: doi:10.1152/physiolgenomics.00183.2007


Brown adipose tissue expressing uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) is responsible for adaptive nonshivering thermogenesis giving eutherian mammals crucial advantage to survive the cold. The emergence of this thermogenic organ during mammalian evolution remained unknown as the identification of UCP1 in marsupials failed so far. Here, we unequivocally identify the marsupial UCP1 ortholog in a genomic library of Monodelphis domestica. In South American and Australian marsupials, UCP1 is exclusively expressed in distinct adipose tissue sites and appears to be recruited by cold exposure in the smallest species under investigation (Sminthopsis crassicaudata). Our data suggest that an archetypal brown adipose tissue was present at least 150 million yr ago allowing early mammals to produce endogenous heat in the cold, without dependence on shivering and locomotor activity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:brown adipose tissue; cold acclimation
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Comparative physiology
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Other animal production and animal primary products
Objective Field:Animal welfare
UTAS Author:Frappell, P (Professor Peter Frappell)
ID Code:68878
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:61
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2011-03-29
Last Modified:2011-07-01

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