Send to

Choose Destination
FEBS Lett. 1998 Sep 18;435(2-3):215-8.

Fatty acids as natural uncouplers preventing generation of O2.- and H2O2 by mitochondria in the resting state.

Author information

Department of Bioenergetics, A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Moscow State University, Russia.


Both natural (laurate) and artificial (m-chlorocarbonylcyanide phenylhydrazone; CCCP) uncouplers strongly inhibit O2.- and H2O2 formation by rat heart mitochondria oxidizing succinate. Carboxyatractylate, an ATP/ADP antiporter inhibitor, abolishes the laurate inhibition, the CCCP inhibition being unaffected. Atractylate partially releases the inhibition by laurate and decelerates the releasing effect of carboxyatractylate. GDP is much less effective than carboxyatractylate in releasing the laurate inhibition of reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation. Micromolar laurate concentrations arresting the ROS formation cause strong inhibition of reverse electron transfer from succinate to NAD+, whereas State 4 respiration and the transmembrane electric potential difference (delta psi) level are affected only slightly. It is suggested that (i) free fatty acids operate as natural 'mild uncouplers' preventing the transmembrane electrochemical H+ potential difference (delta muH+) from being above a threshold critical for ROS formation by complex I and, to a lesser degree, by complex III of the respiratory chain, and (ii) it is the ATP/ADP-antiporter, rather than uncoupling protein 2, that is mainly involved in this antioxidant mechanism of heart muscle mitochondria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center