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Mitochondrion. 2009 Apr;9(2):79-85. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2009.01.001. Epub 2009 Jan 17.

Transport of adenine nucleotides in the mitochondria of Saccharomyces cerevisiae: interactions between the ADP/ATP carriers and the ATP-Mg/Pi carrier.

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Departamento de Biología Molecular, Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, UAM-CSIC, Universidad Autónoma, CIBER de Enfermedades Raras, c/Nicolas Cabrera 1, 28049 Madrid, Spain.


The ADP/ATP and ATP-Mg/Pi carriers are widespread among eukaryotes and constitute two systems to transport adenine nucleotides in mitochondria. ADP/ATP carriers carry out an electrogenic exchange of ADP for ATP essential for oxidative phosphorylation, whereas ATP-Mg/Pi carriers perform an electroneutral exchange of ATP-Mg for phosphate and are able to modulate the net content of adenine nucleotides in mitochondria. The functional interplay between both carriers has been shown to modulate viability in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The simultaneous absence of both carriers is lethal. In the light of the new evidence we suggest that, in addition to exchange of cytosolic ADP for mitochondrial ATP, the specific function of the ADP/ATP carriers required for respiration, both transporters have a second function, which is the import of cytosolic ATP in mitochondria. The participation of these carriers in the generation of mitochondrial membrane potential is discussed. Both are necessary for the function of the mitochondrial protein import and assembly systems, which are the only essential mitochondrial functions in S. cerevisiae.

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