The aim of this work was to study the regulation of respiration and energy fluxes in permeabilized oxidative and glycolytic skeletal muscle fibers, focusing also on the role of cytoskeletal protein tubulin βII isotype in mitochondrial metabolism and organization. By analyzing accessibility of mitochondrial ADP, using respirometry and pyruvate kinase-phosphoenolpyruvate trapping system for ADP, we show that the apparent affinity of respiration for ADP can be directly linked to the permeability of the mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM). Previous studies have shown that MOM permeability in cardiomyocytes can be regulated by VDAC interaction with cytoskeletal protein, βII tubulin. We found that in oxidative soleus skeletal muscle the high apparent Km for ADP is associated with low MOM permeability and high expression of non-polymerized βII tubulin. Very low expression of non-polymerized form of βII tubulin in glycolytic muscles is associated with high MOM permeability for adenine nucleotides (low apparent Km for ADP).
Keywords: Energy flux; Intracellular energy unit; Metabolic control analysis; Respiration; Skeletal muscle.