Relationship between configuration, function, and permeability in calcium-treated mitochondria

D R Hunter, R A Haworth, J H Southard
1976 Journal of Biological Chemistry  
Low levels of calcium (100 nmol/mg) added to beef heart mitochondria induced a configurational transition from the aggregated to the orthodox state and a simultaneous uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation. The primary effect of calcium was to cause a nonspecific increase in the permeability of the inner membrane, resulting in entry of sucrose into the matrix space and the observed configurational transition. The uncoupling and permeability change induced by calcium could readily be reversed
more » ... adily be reversed by lowering the calcium:magnesium ratio in the presence of either substrate or ATP. The configurational state, however, remained orthodox. This, along with studies of hypotonically induced orthodox mitochondria in which the membrane remained coupled and impermeable until after the addition of calcium, led to the conclusion that coupling was related to the permeability state of the inner membrane rather than the configurational state. Phosphate, arsenate, or oleic acid was found to cause a transition similar to that induced by calcium. Studies with the specific calcium transport inhibitors, EGTA, ruthenium red, and lanthanum revealed that endogenous calcium is required for the anion-induced transitions. A single mechanism was further indicated by a common sensitivity to N-ethylmaleimide. Strontium was ineffective as an inducer of the transition, even though it is transported by the same mechanism as calcium. This indicates that there are additional calcium-binding sites responsible for triggering the transition. Magnesium and calcium appeared to compete for these additional sites, since magnesium competitively inhibited the calcium-induced transition, but had no effect on calcium uptake. Calcium was found to potently inhibit the respiration of all NAD+-requiring substrates prior to the transition. Strontium also produced this inhibition without a subsequent transition. ATPase activity was induced at the exact time of transition with calcium and was not induced by strontium. This suggests that calcium-induced ATPase uniquely required the transition for activity, in contrast to the ATPase induced by uncoupler or valinomycin. The results of this work indicate that mitochondria have a built-in mechanism which responds to low levels of calcium, phosphate, and fatty acids, resulting in simultaneous changes, including increased permeability, inducation of ATPase, uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation, and loss of respiratory control.
pmid:134035 fatcat:ajlx43almzgb5j3zd5xh3icwlu