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Biofactors. 1998;8(3-4):229-34.

Some new aspects of creatine kinase (CK): compartmentation, structure, function and regulation for cellular and mitochondrial bioenergetics and physiology.

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Institute of Cell Biology, ETH-Hönggerberg, Zürich, Switzerland.


Creatine kinase (CK) isoenzymes, specifically located at places of energy demand and energy production, are linked by a phosphocreatine/creatine (PCr/Cr) circuit, found in cells with intermittently high energy demands. Cytosolic CKs, in close conjunction with Ca(2+)-pumps, play a crucial role for the energetics of Ca(2+)-homeostasis. Mitochondrial Mi-CK, a cuboidal-shaped octamer with a central channel, binds and crosslinks mitochondrial membranes and forms a functionally coupled microcompartment with porin and adenine nucleotide translocase for vectorial export of PCr into the cytosol. The CK system is regulated by AMP-activated protein kinase via PCr/Cr and ATP/AMP ratios. Mi-CK stabilizes and cross-links cristae- or inner/outer membranes to form parallel membrane stacks and, if overexpressed due to creatine depletion or cellular energy stress, forms those crystalline intramitochondrial inclusions seen in some mitochondrial cytopathy patients. Mi-CK is a prime target for free radical damage by peroxynitrite. Mi-CK octamers, together with CK substrates have a marked stabilizing and protective effect against mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening, thus providing a rationale for creatine supplementation of patients with neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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