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Pflugers Arch. 2013 Jul;465(7):997-1010. doi: 10.1007/s00424-013-1224-1. Epub 2013 Feb 9.

Characterization of distinct single-channel properties of Ca²⁺ inward currents in mitochondria.

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Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Center of Molecular Medicine, Medical University of Graz, Harrachgasse 21/III, 8010 Graz, Austria.


Previous studies have demonstrated several molecularly distinct players involved in mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake. In the present study, electrophysiological recordings on mitoplasts that were isolated from HeLa cells were performed in order to biophysically and pharmacologically characterize Ca(2+) currents across the inner mitochondrial membrane. In mitoplast-attached configuration with 105 mM Ca(2+) as a charge carrier, three distinct channel conductances of 11, 23, and 80 pS were observed. All types of mitochondrial currents were voltage-dependent and essentially depended on the presence of Ca(2+) in the pipette. The 23 pS channel exhibited burst kinetics. Though all channels were sensitive to ruthenium red, their sensitivity was different. The 11 and 23 pS channels exhibited a lower sensitivity to ruthenium red than the 80 pS channel. The activities of all channels persisted in the presence of cylosporin A, CGP 37187, various K(+)-channel inhibitors, and Cl(-) channel blockers disodium 4,4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonate and niflumic acid. Collectively, our data identified multiple conductances of Ca(2+) currents in mitoplasts isolated from HeLa cells, thus challenging the dogma of only one unique mitochondrial Ca(2+) uniporter.

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