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Eur J Biochem. 1998 Dec 1;258(2):729-35.

Cyclophilin-D binds strongly to complexes of the voltage-dependent anion channel and the adenine nucleotide translocase to form the permeability transition pore.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University College London, UK.


A cyclophilin-D affinity matrix was employed to isolate components of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. A cDNA encoding cyclophilin-D was cloned from a rat liver library and ligated into pGEX to allow expression of a glutathione S-transferase/cyclophilin-D fusion protein in Escherichia coli XL1 cells. The cyclophilin-D in the fusion was functionally normal as judged by its peptidylprolyl cis-trans-isomerase activity and its inhibition by cyclosporin A. The fusion protein was bound to glutathione-agarose to form the cyclophilin-D affinity matrix. The matrix selectively bound 32-kDa proteins of mitochondrial membrane extracts, but no H2O-soluble proteins were bound. The 32-kDa band on SDS/PAGE resolved into a doublet and reacted with antibodies against the voltage-dependent anion channel (porin) and the adenine nucleotide translocase. These two proteins were also selectively retained by the affinity matrix in the presence of cyclosporin A. The thus-purified voltage-dependent anion channel, adenine nucleotide translocase and the fusion protein were incorporated into phosphatidylcholine liposomes containing fluorescein sulphonate. The proteoliposomes were permeabilized by Ca2+ plus phosphate, and this was blocked completely by cyclosporin A. These properties are identical to those of the permeability transition pore in mitochondria. It is concluded that the basic permeability transition pore structure comprises the voltage-dependent anion channel (outer membrane), adenine nucleotide translocase (inner membrane) and cyclophilin-D, and forms at contact sites between the two membranes.

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