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Biophys J. Jul 2004; 87(1): 696–713.
PMCID: PMC1304393

Analysis of Functional Coupling: Mitochondrial Creatine Kinase and Adenine Nucleotide Translocase


The mechanism of functional coupling between mitochondrial creatine kinase (MiCK) and adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT) in isolated heart mitochondria is analyzed. Two alternative mechanisms are studied: 1), dynamic compartmentation of ATP and ADP, which assumes the differences in concentrations of the substrates between intermembrane space and surrounding solution due to some diffusion restriction and 2), direct transfer of the substrates between MiCK and ANT. The mathematical models based on these possible mechanisms were composed and simulation results were compared with the available experimental data. The first model, based on a dynamic compartmentation mechanism, was not sufficient to reproduce the measured values of apparent dissociation constants of MiCK reaction coupled to oxidative phosphorylation. The second model, which assumes the direct transfer of substrates between MiCK and ANT, is shown to be in good agreement with experiments—i.e., the second model reproduced the measured constants and the estimated ADP flux, entering mitochondria after the MiCK reaction. This model is thermodynamically consistent, utilizing the free energy profiles of reactions. The analysis revealed the minimal changes in the free energy profile of the MiCK-ANT interaction required to reproduce the experimental data. A possible free energy profile of the coupled MiCK-ANT system is presented.

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