Voltage-Dependent Regulation of Complex II Energized Mitochondrial Oxygen Flux

PLoS One. 2016 May 6;11(5):e0154982. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154982. eCollection 2016.


Oxygen consumption by isolated mitochondria is generally measured during state 4 respiration (no ATP production) or state 3 (maximal ATP production at high ADP availability). However, mitochondria in vivo do not function at either extreme. Here we used ADP recycling methodology to assess muscle mitochondrial function over intermediate clamped ADP concentrations. In so doing, we uncovered a previously unrecognized biphasic respiratory pattern wherein O2 flux on the complex II substrate, succinate, initially increased and peaked over low clamped ADP concentrations then decreased markedly at higher clamped concentrations. Mechanistic studies revealed no evidence that the observed changes in O2 flux were due to altered opening or function of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore or to changes in reactive oxygen. Based on metabolite and functional metabolic data, we propose a multifactorial mechanism that consists of coordinate changes that follow from reduced membrane potential (as the ADP concentration in increased). These changes include altered directional electron flow, altered NADH/NAD+ redox cycling, metabolite exit, and OAA inhibition of succinate dehydrogenase. In summary, we report a previously unrecognized pattern for complex II energized O2 flux. Moreover, our findings suggest that the ADP recycling approach might be more widely adapted for mitochondrial studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Diphosphate / metabolism
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Electron Transport Complex II / metabolism*
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Mice
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore
  • Oxygen / metabolism*


  • Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore
  • Adenosine Diphosphate
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Electron Transport Complex II
  • Oxygen