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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1991 Jun 18;1065(2):231-8.

Kinetic characterization of the reconstituted carnitine carrier from rat liver mitochondria.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaco-Biology, University of Bari, Italy.


The carnitine carrier was purified from rat liver mitochondria and reconstituted into liposomes by removing the detergent from mixed micelles by Amberlite. Optimal transport activity was obtained with 1 microgram/ml and 12.5 mg/ml of protein and phospholipid concentration, respectively, with a Triton X-100/phospholipid ratio of 1.8 and with 16 passages through the same Amberlite column. The activity of the carrier was influenced by the phospholipid composition of the liposomes, being increased in the presence of cardiolipin and decreased in the presence of phosphatidylinositol. In the reconstituted system the incorporated carnitine carrier catalyzed a carnitine/carnitine exchange which followed a first-order reaction. The maximum transport rate of external [3H]carnitine was 1.7 mmol/min per g protein at 25 degrees C and was independent of the type of countersubstrate. The half-saturation constant (Km) for carnitine was 0.51 mM. The affinity of the carrier for acylcarnitines was in the microM range and depended on the carbon chain length. The activation energy of the carnitine/carnitine exchange was 133 kJ/mol. The carrier function was independent of the pH in the range between 6 and 8 and was inhibited at pH below 6.

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