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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1993 Nov 15;307(1):91-5.

Decreased cytochrome oxidase activity and changes in phospholipids in heart mitochondria from hypothyroid rats.

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Dipartimento di Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare, Università degli Studi di Bari, Italy.


The effect of hypothyroidism on kinetic characteristics of cytochrome oxidase in rat heart mitochondria was studied. Mitochondrial preparations from control and hypothyroid rats had equivalent Km values for cytochrome c, while the maximal activity of the oxidase was significantly decreased (more than 30%) in mitochondrial preparations from hypothyroid rats. This decrease is associated to a parallel decrease in state 3 respiration. The cytochrome aa3 content was slightly decreased (by around 15%) in mitochondria from hypothyroid rats. The Arrhenius plot characteristics differ for cytochrome oxidase activity in mitochondria from hypothyroid rats as compared with control rats in that the breakpoint of the biphasic plot is shifted to a higher temperature. Cardiolipin content was markedly decreased in the mitochondrial membrane from hypothyroid rats. No alterations were found in the pattern of cardiolipin fatty acid distribution of mitochondrial membrane from control and hypothyroid rats. The effects of the hypothyroid state on the activity of cytochrome oxidase, on cytochrome aa3 levels, and on cardiolipin contents were completely reversed by following the treatment of hypothyroid rats with thyroid hormone. The results support the conclusion that the depressed mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase activity in the hypothyroid state is due, at least in part, to a decrease in the cardiolipin content of the mitochondrial inner membrane.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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