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Oxidative stress, thermogenesis and evolution of uncoupling proteins

Eduardo Rial1* and Rafael Zardoya2

Author Affiliations

1 Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC, Ramiro de Maezu 9, 28040 Madrid, Spain

2 Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC, Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain

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Journal of Biology 2009, 8:58  doi:10.1186/jbiol155

Published: 16 June 2009


The uncoupling protein UCP1 provides eutherian mammals with an efficient thermogenic mechanism. Recent work published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, following the identification of UCP1 orthologs in non-eutherians, concludes that this unique function appeared after sequence divergence and purifying selection that allowed functional co-option.