The role of yeast VDAC genes on the permeability of the mitochondrial outer membrane

J Membr Biol. 1998 Jan 15;161(2):173-81. doi: 10.1007/s002329900324.


In addition to the POR1 gene, which encodes the well-characterized voltage dependent anion-selective channel (YVDAC1) of the mitochondrial outer membrane, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains a second gene (POR2) encoding a protein (YVDAC2) with 50% sequence identity to YVDAC1. Mitochondria isolated from yeast cells deleted for the POR1 gene (delta por1) had a profoundly reduced outer membrane permeability as measured by the ability of an intermembrane space dehydrogenase to oxidize exogenously added NADH. Mitochondria missing either YVDAC1 or both YVDAC1 and YVDAC2 showed a 2-fold increase in the rate of NADH oxidation when the outer membrane was deliberately damaged. Mitochondria from parental cells showed only a 10% increase indicating that the outer membrane is highly permeable to NADH. In the absence of YVDAC1, we calculate that the outer membrane permeability to NADH is reduced 20-fold. The low NADH permeability in the presence of YVDAC2 was not due to the low levels of YVDAC2 expression as mitochondria from cells expressing levels of YVDAC2 comparable to those of YVDAC1 in parental cells showed no substantial increase in NADH permeability, indicating a minimal role of YVDAC2 in this permeability. The residual permeability may be due to other pathways because cells missing both genes can still grow on nonfermentable carbon sources. However, YVDAC1 is clearly the major pathway for NADH flux through the outer membrane in these mitochondria.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Genes, Fungal*
  • Intracellular Membranes / physiology
  • Ion Channels / physiology*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Mitochondria / physiology*
  • Mutation
  • NAD / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Permeability
  • Porins*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / growth & development
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / physiology*
  • Uncoupling Agents
  • Voltage-Dependent Anion Channels


  • Ion Channels
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Porins
  • Uncoupling Agents
  • Voltage-Dependent Anion Channels
  • NAD