Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Arch Biochem Biophys. 2009 Oct 1;490(1):30-5. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 Aug 11.

Supercomplexes of the mitochondrial electron transport chain decline in the aging rat heart.

Author information

Linus Pauling Institute and Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.


Accumulation of mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) defects is a recognized hallmark of the age-associated decline in cardiac bioenergetics; however, the molecular events involved are only poorly understood. In the present work, we hypothesized that age-related ETC deterioration stemmed partly from disassociation of large solid-state macromolecular assemblies termed "supercomplexes". Mitochondrial proteins from young and old rat hearts were separated by blue native-PAGE, protein bands analyzed by LC-MALDI-MS/MS, and protein levels quantified by densitometry. Results showed that supercomplexes comprised of various stoichiometries of complexes I, III and IV were observed, and declined significantly (p<0.05, n=4) with age. Supercomplexes displaying the highest molecular masses were the most severely affected. Considering that certain diseases (e.g. Barth Syndrome) display similar supercomplex destabilization as our results for aging, the deterioration in ETC supercomplexes may be an important underlying factor for both impaired mitochondrial function and loss of cardiac bioenergetics with age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center