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Anesth Analg. 2011 Jun;112(6):1321-9. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e3182121d37. Epub 2011 Apr 5.

Isoflurane selectively inhibits distal mitochondrial complex I in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, University of Washington and Center for Developmental Therapeutics, Seattle Children's Research Institute, Seattle, WA 98101-1304, USA. philip.morgan@seattlechildrens.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Complex I of the electron transport chain (ETC) is a possible target of volatile anesthetics (VAs). Complex I enzymatic activities are inhibited by VAs, and dysfunction of complex I can lead to hypersensitivity to VAs in worms and in people. Mutant analysis in Caenorhabditis (C.) elegans suggests that VAs may specifically interfere with complex I function at the binding site for its substrate ubiquinone. We hypothesized that isoflurane inhibits electron transport by competing with ubiquinone for binding to complex I.

METHODS:

Wildtype and mutant C. elegans were used to study the effects of isoflurane on isolated mitochondria. Enzymatic activities of the ETC were assayed and dose-response curves determined using established techniques. Two-dimensional native gels of mitochondrial proteins were performed after exposure of mitochondria to isoflurane.

RESULTS:

Complex I is the most sensitive component of the ETC to isoflurane inhibition; however, the proximal portion of complex I (the flavoprotein) is relatively insensitive to isoflurane. Isoflurane and quinone do not compete for a common binding site on complex I. The absolute rate of complex I enzymatic activity in vitro does not predict immobilization of the animal by isoflurane. Isoflurane had no measurable effect on stability of mitochondrial supercomplexes. Reduction of ubiquinone by complex I displayed positive cooperative kinetics not disrupted by isoflurane.

CONCLUSIONS:

Isoflurane directly inhibits complex I at a site distal to the flavoprotein subcomplex. However, we have excluded our original hypothesis that isoflurane and ubiquinone compete for a common hydrophobic binding site on complex I. In addition, immobilization of the nematode by isoflurane is not due to limiting absolute amounts of complex I electron transport as measured in isolated mitochondria.

PMID:
21467554
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3102776
Free PMC Article

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