The enzyme PM20D1 and it's derivatives, N-acyl amino acids, lead to thermogenesis independently of UCP1!

  • Source: Uncoupling Mitochondrial Respiration for Diabesity.
  • Abstract: Until recently the mechanism of adaptive thermogenesis was ascribed to the expression of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) in brown and beige adipocytes. UCP1 is known to catalyze a proton leak of the inner mitochondrial membrane resulting in uncoupled oxidative metabolism with no production of ATP and increased energy expenditure. Thus increasing brown and beige adipose tissue with augmented UCP1 expression is a viable target for obesity-related disorders. Recent work demonstrates an UCP1-independent pathway to uncouple mitochondrial respiration. A secreted enzyme, PM20D1, enriched in UCP1+ adipocytes exhibits catalytic and hydrolytic activity to reversibly form N-acyl amino acids. N-acyl amino acids act as endogenous uncouplers of mitochondrial respiration at physiological concentrations. Administration of PM20D1 or its products, N-acyl amino acids, to diet-induced obese mice improves glucose tolerance by increasing energy expenditure. In short-term studies treated animals exhibit no toxicity while experiencing 10% weight loss primarily of adipose tissue. Further study of this metabolic pathway may identify novel therapies for diabesity, the disease state associated with diabetes and obesity.