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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2001 Jun 1;1505(2-3):258-70.

Lack of dystrophin is associated with altered integration of the mitochondria and ATPases in slow-twitch muscle cells of MDX mice.

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Department of Pathophysiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Taru, Estonia.


The potential role of dystrophin-mediated control of systems integrating mitochondria with ATPases was assessed in muscle cells. Mitochondrial distribution and function in skinned cardiac and skeletal muscle fibers from dystrophin-deficient (MDX) and wild-type mice were compared. Laser confocal microscopy revealed disorganized mitochondrial arrays in m. gastrocnemius in MDX mice, whereas the other muscles appeared normal in this group. Irrespective of muscle type, the absence of dystrophin had no effect on the maximal capacity of oxidative phosphorylation, nor on coupling between oxidation and phosphorylation. However, in the myocardium and m. soleus, the coupling of mitochondrial creatine kinase to adenine nucleotide translocase was attenuated as evidenced by the decreased effect of creatine on the Km for ADP in the reactions of oxidative phosphorylation. In m. soleus, a low Km for ADP compared to the wild-type counterpart was found, which implies increased permeability for that nucleotide across the mitochondrial outer membrane. In normal cardiac fibers 35% of the ADP flux generated by ATPases was not accessible to the external pyruvate kinase-phosphoenolpyruvate system, which suggests the compartmentalized (direct) channeling of that fraction of ADP to mitochondria. Compared to control, the direct ADP transfer was increased in MDX ventricles. In conclusion, our data indicate that in slow-twitch muscle cells, the absence of dystrophin is associated with the rearrangement of the intracellular energy and feedback signal transfer systems between mitochondria and ATPases. As the mechanisms mediated by creatine kinases become ineffective, the role of diffusion of adenine nucleotides increases due to the higher permeability of the mitochondrial outer membrane for ADP and enhanced compartmentalization of ADP flux.

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