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Eur J Biochem. 1990 Sep 11;192(2):355-62.

Control of respiration and oxidative phosphorylation in isolated rat liver cells.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, England.


NAD(P)H fluorescence, mitochondrial membrane potential and respiration rate were measured and manipulated in isolated liver cells from fed and starved rats in order to characterize control of mitochondrial respiration and phosphorylation. Increased mitochondrial NADH supply stimulated respiration and this accounted for most of the stimulation of respiration by vasopressin and extracellular ATP. From the response of respiration to NADH it was estimated that the control coefficient over respiration of the processes that supply mitochondrial NADH was about 0.15-0.3 in cells from fed rats. Inhibition of the ATP synthase with oligomycin increased the mitochondrial membrane potential and decreased respiration in cells from fed rats, while the uncoupler carbonyl cyanide p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone had the opposite effect. There was a unique relationship between respiration and membrane potential irrespective of the ATP content of the cells indicating that phosphorylation potential controls respiration solely via phosphorylation (rather than by controlling NADH supply). From the response of respiration to the mitochondrial membrane potential (delta psi M) it was estimated that the control coefficients over respiration rate in cells from fed rats were: 0.29 by the processes that generate delta psi M, 0.49 by the process of ATP synthesis, transport and consumption, and 0.22 by the processes that cycle protons across the inner mitochondrial membrane other than via ATP synthesis (e.g. the passive proton leak). Control coefficients over the rate of mitochondrial ATP synthesis were 0.23, 0.84 and -0.07, respectively, by the same processes. The control distribution in cells from starved rats was similar.

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