Solubilization, purification, and characterization of cardiolipin synthase from rat liver mitochondria. Demonstration of its phospholipid requirement

J Biol Chem. 1991 Nov 25;266(33):22398-403.


Cardiolipin is a specific and functionally important phospholipid of mitochondria, and its biosynthesis is considered to be crucial for the assembly of this organelle. However, little information is available about the enzyme cardiolipin synthase, largely because it has not yet been isolated. We solubilized cardiolipin synthase from rat liver mitochondrial membranes with Zwittergent 3-14 and purified it by Mono Q anion exchange chromatography, Superose 12 gel filtration, and Mono P chromatofocusing. Cardiolipin synthase is one of the most acidic mitochondrial proteins (isoelectric point, pH 4-5) and appears as a 50-kilodalton band in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The purified enzyme requires CO2+ for activity, has an alkaline pH optimum (pH 8-9), and exhibits Km values of 45 and 1.6 microM for phosphatidylglycerol and CDP-diacylglycerol, respectively. Cardiolipin synthase loses activity during purification, and the activity can be partially reconstituted by the addition of phospholipids. The most effective phospholipid is phosphatidylethanolamine which reactivates in a cooperative manner. Cardiolipin reactivates hyperbolically at low concentrations but inhibits the enzyme at higher concentrations. In addition, cardiolipin shifts the sigmoidal reactivation curve of phosphatidylethanolamine toward lower concentrations. It is suggested that cardiolipin synthase requires interaction with several molecules of phosphatidylethanolamine and at least one molecule of cardiolipin for full enzymatic activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatography, Gel
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Chromatography, Ion Exchange
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Intracellular Membranes / enzymology
  • Kinetics
  • Membrane Proteins*
  • Mitochondria, Liver / enzymology*
  • Molecular Weight
  • Phospholipids / pharmacology*
  • Phosphotransferases / isolation & purification*
  • Phosphotransferases / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Submitochondrial Particles / enzymology
  • Transferases (Other Substituted Phosphate Groups)*


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Phospholipids
  • Phosphotransferases
  • Transferases (Other Substituted Phosphate Groups)
  • cardiolipin synthetase