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Biochem J. 1981 May 15;196(2):471-9.

Identification of the protein responsible for pyruvate transport into rat liver and heart mitochondria by specific labelling with [3H]N-phenylmaleimide.


1. N-Phenylmaleimide irreversibly inhibits pyruvate transport into rat heart and liver mitochondria to a much greater extent than does N-ethylmaleimide, iodoacetate or bromopyruvate. alpha-Cyanocinnamate protects the pyruvate transporter from attack by this thiol-blocking reagent. 2. In both heart and liver mitochondria alpha-cyanocinnamate diminishes labelling by [3H]N-phenylmaleimide of a membrane protein of subunit mol.wt. 15000 on sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis. 3. Exposure of mitochondrial to unlabelled N-phenylmaleimide in the presence of alpha-cyanocinnamate, followed by removal of alpha-cyanocinnamate and exposure to [3H]N-phenylmaleimide, produced specific labelling of the same protein. 4. Both labelling and kinetic experiments with inhibitors gave values for the approximate amount of carrier present in liver and heart mitochondria of 100 and 450 pmol/mg of mitochondrial protein respectively. 5. The turnover numbers for net pyruvate transport and pyruvate exchange at 0 degrees C were 6 and 200 min-1 respectively.

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