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Biofactors. 1998;8(3-4):235-42.

The molecular structure of mitochondrial contact sites. Their role in regulation of energy metabolism and permeability transition.

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Faculty of Biology, University of Konstanz, Germany.


Contact sites between the outer and peripheral inner membrane of mitochondria are involved in protein precursor uptake and energy transfer. Hexokinase and mitochondrial creatine kinase could be attributed by different techniques to the energy transfer contacts. Kinetic analyses suggested a functional interaction between the kinases, outer membrane pore protein, and inner membrane adenylate translocator (ANT). This suggestion was strongly supported by isolation of hexokinase and creatine kinase complexes that were constituted of kinase oligomers, porin and ANT. Phospholipid vesicles carrying reconstituted kinase-porin-ANT complexes enclosed internal ATP in contrast to vesicles containing free porin only. This indicated that unspecific transport through porin was regulated by its interaction with a specific antiporter, ANT. A direct interaction between porin and ANT in the hexokinase complex conferred the reconstituted system with permeability properties reminiscent of the mitochondrial permeability transition (PT) pore. In the creatine kinase complex this interaction between porin and ANT was replaced by contact of both with the kinase octamer. Thus PT-pore-like functions were not observed unless the creatine kinase octamer was dissociated, suggesting that the ANT was locked in the antiporter state by interaction with the octamer. Indeed, reconstituted pure ANT showed PT-pore-like properties concerning Ca2+ sensitivity. However, as cyclophilin was missing, sensitivity against cyclosporin was not observed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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