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Eur J Biochem. 2004 Sep;271(17):3573-9.

Multiple effects of DiS-C3(5) on mitochondrial structure and function.

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Institute for Genome Research, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Tokushima, Japan.


3,3'-Dipropyl-2,2'-thiadicarbocyanine iodide [DiS-C(3)(5)], often used as a tracer dye to assess the mitochondrial membrane potential, was investigated in detail regarding its effects on the structure and function of isolated mitochondria. As reported previously, DiS-C(3)(5) had an inhibitory effect on NADH-driven mitochondrial electron transfer. On the contrary, in the presence of inorganic phosphate, DiS-C(3)(5) showed dose-dependent biphasic effects on mitochondria energized by succinate. At higher concentrations, such as 50 micro m, DiS-C(3)(5) accelerated mitochondrial oxygen consumption. Measurements of the permeability of DiS-C(3)(5)-treated mitochondrial membranes to poly(ethylene glycol) and analysis of mitochondrial configuration by transmission electron microscopy revealed that the accelerating effect of DiS-C(3)(5) on mitochondrial oxygen consumption reflects the induction of the mitochondrial permeability transition (PT). When the mitochondrial PT was induced by DiS-C(3)(5), release of mitochondrial cytochrome c was observed, as in the case of the PT induced by Ca(2+). On the contrary, at a low concentration such as 5 micro m, DiS-C(3)(5) showed an inhibitory effect on the latent oxygen consumption by mitochondria. This effect was shown to reflect inhibition of the PT induced by a low concentration of Ca(2+). Furthermore, in the absence of inorganic phosphate, DiS-C(3)(5) caused mitochondrial swelling. Under this condition, DiS-C(3)(5) caused changes in the membrane status of the mitochondria, but did not induce a release of mitochondrial cytochrome c.

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