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Anal Biochem. 2018 Jul 1;552:50-59. doi: 10.1016/j.ab.2017.07.009. Epub 2017 Jul 12.

Mitochondrial membrane potential.

Author information

1
A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation; International Laser Center, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation.
2
A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation; Faculty of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation.
3
A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation.
4
Faculty of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation.
5
Institute of Molecular Medicine, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow, Russian Federation.
6
Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.
7
A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation; Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD, USA. Electronic address: zorov@genebee.msu.su.

Abstract

The mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) generated by proton pumps (Complexes I, III and IV) is an essential component in the process of energy storage during oxidative phosphorylation. Together with the proton gradient (ΔpH), ΔΨm forms the transmembrane potential of hydrogen ions which is harnessed to make ATP. The levels of ΔΨm and ATP in the cell are kept relatively stable although there are limited fluctuations of both these factors that can occur reflecting normal physiological activity. However, sustained changes in both factors may be deleterious. A long-lasting drop or rise of ΔΨm vs normal levels may induce unwanted loss of cell viability and be a cause of various pathologies. Among other factors, ΔΨm plays a key role in mitochondrial homeostasis through selective elimination of dysfunctional mitochondria. It is also a driving force for transport of ions (other than H+) and proteins which are necessary for healthy mitochondrial functioning. We propose additional potential mechanisms for which ΔΨm is essential for maintenance of cellular health and viability and provide recommendations how to accurately measure ΔΨm in a cell and discuss potential sources of artifacts.

KEYWORDS:

Heterogeneity; Mitochondria; Mitophagy; Quality control; Signaling; Transmembrane potential

PMID:
28711444
PMCID:
PMC5792320
DOI:
10.1016/j.ab.2017.07.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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