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FEBS Lett. 1998 Nov 20;439(3):373-6.

Cytochrome c release from brain mitochondria is independent of the mitochondrial permeability transition.

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Department of Anesthesiology, University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201, USA.


Ca2+ uptake by brain mitochondria induces the release of up to 40% of total cytochrome c in a cyclosporin A-insensitive manner. In the presence of ATP and Mg2+, this process is not accompanied by mitochondrial swelling. There is a moderate decrease in membrane potential under these conditions, but it is completely reversible upon removal of accumulated Ca2+ by addition of EGTA+A23187 but not by EGTA alone. These observations provide evidence that cytochrome c release from brain mitochondria does not require the membrane permeability transition. However, brain mitochondria can undergo the permeability transition in the absence of ATP and Mg2+, which results in cyclosporin A-sensitive large amplitude swelling, loss of Ca2+ uptake capacity and release of matrix solutes.

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