A maxi-chloride channel in the inner membrane of mammalian mitochondria

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Nov;1777(11):1438-48. doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2008.08.007. Epub 2008 Aug 30.


Patch-clamp experiments on swollen mitochondria of human, mouse and rat origins have revealed activity by an approximately 400 pS (in 150 mM KCl), voltage-dependent and anion-selective channel. This channel is located in the inner membrane, as shown by experiments with mitochondria from cells expressing a fluorescent mitochondrial tag protein and by the co-presence of the 107 pS channel and of the permeability transition pore (PTP). The frequency of appearance was inversely related to the presence of the PTP. This and the comparison of its electrophysiological characteristics with those of the PTP indicate that it is closely related to the latter, possibly corresponding to a monomeric unit whose dimer constitutes the full PTP. The channel is similar but not identical to isolated-and-reconstituted mitochondrial porin, and it is present also in mitochondria from cells lacking porin isoforms. Its identification with porin is therefore to be excluded. It most likely coincides instead with the "maxi-chloride channel" characterized in the plasma membrane of various cell types.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chloride Channels / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Membranes / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques


  • Chloride Channels