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Neurosci Lett. 1992 Aug 17;142(2):123-7.

Pyruvate dehydrogenase dephosphorylation in rat brain synaptosomes and mitochondria: evidence for a calcium-mediated effect in response to depolarization, and variations due to ageing.

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Departamento de Biología Molecular, Centro de Biología Molecular, C.S.I.C., Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.


The phosphorylation state of P42, the phosphorylated, catalytically inactive, alpha-subunit of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH), decreased markedly (42.4%) in response to K(+)-depolarization of synaptosomes. The dephosphorylation was rapid (5-15 s), calcium-dependent and could also be observed in isolated mitochondria exposed to a rise in extramitochondrial calcium, suggesting that P42 dephosphorylation may act as a calcium sensor in the mitochondrial matrix. The depolarization-dependent dephosphorylation rate of P42 was decreased in synaptosomes derived from 24-month-old animals with respect to 3-month-old adults. The relevance of these results in terms of PDH activation during ageing is discussed.

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