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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1986 Jul;248(1):305-23.

The efficiencies of the component steps of oxidative phosphorylation. II. Experimental determination of the efficiencies in mitochondria and examination of the equivalence of membrane potential and pH gradient in phosphorylation.

Abstract

In the accompanying article (T.E. Gunter and B.D. Jensen, 1986 Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 248, 289-304), a method is described for measuring the efficiencies of individual steps of the process of oxidative phosphorylation. The results of applying this method to the case of state 3 phosphorylation in rat liver mitochondria are reported here. The rate of energy use (or power use) at the gradient generation, leakage, and phosphorylation steps are reported as efficiencies and energy use factors in tabular form. The limits of the degrees of coupling of the gradient generation and phosphorylation steps are also determined and under the current conditions of measurement these degrees of coupling are found to be quite close to unity. The data can be used to show that the only sets of the stoichiometric parameters noH (the charge/2e- ratio in this case from succinate to oxygen), nPH (the H+/ATP ratio), and nTH (number of protons translocated during substrate-product transport) which are simultaneously consistent with both the laws of thermodynamics and with the current data are 8, 3, 1, and 6, 3, 0. The The efficiency of the phosphorylation step which is independent of noH and nTH averages 80% for the control data analyzed. If noH is 8 (succinate to oxygen), the average value of the efficiency of generation of the electrochemical proton gradient is approximately 91 percent. Since very little power (energy) would then be left over to be coupled in parallel to phosphorylation through some other means of coupling, this would place the electrochemical proton gradient in the direct path of power flow and identify it as "an" intermediate in the process. This would suggest that any other intermediate should be considered as being "in series" with the electrochemical proton gradient. The agents butyrate and propionate have been employed to permit investigation over a range of pH gradient and membrane potential. Both butyrate and propionate decrease the efficiency of generation of the electrochemical proton gradient and increase proton leakage. In addition, butyrate activates electron transport whereas propionate inhibits it. By using butyrate to modify the values of pH gradient and membrane potential, it can be shown that the ratio of the efficiency with which the pH gradient is used in phosphorylation to that with which the membrane potential is used is 1.08 +/- 0.38.

PMID:
3015029
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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