The isothiourea derivative, KB-R7943, inhibits the reverse-mode of the plasma membrane sodium/calcium exchanger and protects against ischemia/reperfusion injury. The mechanism through which KB-R7943 confers protection, however, remains controversial. Recently, KB-R7943 has been shown to inhibit mitochondrial calcium uptake and matrix overload, which may contribute to its protective effects. While using KB-R7943 for this purpose, we find here no evidence that KB-R7943 directly blocks mitochondrial calcium uptake. Rather, we find that KB-R7943 inhibits opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore in permeabilized cells and isolated liver mitochondria. Furthermore, we find that this observation correlates with protection against calcium ionophore-induced mitochondrial membrane potential depolarization and cell death, without detrimental effects to basal mitochondrial membrane potential or complex I-dependent mitochondrial respiration. Our data reveal another mechanism through which KB-R7943 may protect against calcium-induced injury, as well as a novel means to inhibit the mitochondrial permeability transition pore.
Keywords: Calcium retention capacity; KB-R7943; Mitochondria; Permeability transition.
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