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Biochemistry. 1986 Nov 18;25(23):7667-75.

Kinetic control of mitochondrial ATP synthesis.


In order to gain a clearer understanding of the kinetic control of ATP synthesis, rat liver and rat heart mitochondria were incubated under conditions that resulted in various rates of net ATP synthesis or ATP hydrolysis. Radiolabeled phosphate was included in the incubation media, and exchange rates between phosphate and ATP were determined as a function of rates of net ATP synthesis. Since ATP synthase is a highly reversible enzyme, the catalyzed reaction was expected to approach equilibrium especially at low rates of respiration and net ATP synthesis. Thus ADP + Pi V1 in equilibrium V2 ATP. If V1 is the rate of incorporation of radiolabeled phosphate into ATP, then net ATP synthesis (or hydrolysis) is V1 - V2. Since V1 and V1 - V2 could be measured, it was possible to calculate V2. V1 doubled in the transition from zero to maximal net ATP synthesis, whereas V2 decreased by over 90% when the rate of ATP synthesis was high due to high-media ADP. In heart mitochondria at 37 degrees C when respiration increased from 104 +/- 10 to 842 +/- 51 nanoatoms of O2/(min X mg), incorporation of [33P]phosphate into ATP (V1) increased from 1,100 +/- 60 to 1,978 +/- 121 and V2 decreased from 1,100 to near zero. These data demonstrate that mitochondrial ATP synthesis does not occur near equilibrium under physiological conditions and relatively high rates of ATP synthesis. A reaction with a high ratio of forward to reverse flux is obviously not near equilibrium. The important most sensitively controlled reaction appears to be V2, ATP hydrolysis. Possible mechanisms of kinetic control of V2 are discussed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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