- Dinitrophenol (DNP) was used in the manufacture of munitions during World War II. In the 1930s it was used as a weight loss drug. Use of DNP in the US cannot be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because DNP is considered a dietary supplement. Attempts to ban the drug in the UK following the death of four users in 2015 failed in Parliament.
DNP is a small molecule that is soluble in the mitochondrial inner membrane. The hydroxyl group reversible dissociates (“bumps off”) a proton.
- Predict the effect of DNP on the electrochemical gradient across the inner mitochondrial membrane.
- Based on your knowledge of metabolism and cellular respiration, explain how DNP can be used to reduce weight. Think in terms of the overall affect of DNP on metabolism.
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