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  1. 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.

  1. Predict the effect of DNP on the electrochemical gradient across the inner mitochondrial membrane.
  2. 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.