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Regulated and Unregulated Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pores: A New Paradigm of Pore Structure and Function?

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Regulated and Unregulated Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pores: A New Paradigm of Pore Structure and Function?

Lihua He et al. FEBS Lett.

Abstract

Cyclosporin A (CsA) inhibits the mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT), but not always. To characterize the CsA-sensitive and -insensitive MPT, rat liver mitochondria were exposed to low and high doses of various MPT inducers. Mitochondrial swelling, cyclophilin D membrane binding and permeability transition (PT) pore diameter were measured. The results indicate two conductance modes for the PT pore: one activated by Ca(2+) and inhibited by CsA and Mg(2+) and the other unregulated. We propose a new model of pore formation and gating in which PT pores form by aggregation of misfolded integral membrane proteins damaged by oxidant and other stresses. Chaperone-like proteins initially block conductance through these misfolded protein clusters; however, increased Ca(2+) opens these regulated PT pores, an effect blocked by CsA. When protein clusters exceed chaperones available to block conductance, unregulated pore opening occurs.

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