The Mitochondrial Permeabilization Pore
The inner membrane of liver or heart mitochondria loaded with more than 30–50 nmol. (mg.prot.)-1 of Ca2+ becomes permeable to solutes of molecular weight up to 1.5 KDa. This “permeability transition” (PT) is now known to be due to the operation of an aspecific pore (the “PTP”) with a diameter of at least 2.8 nm (review: Gunter and Pfeiffer, 1990). The discovery of a high affinity inhibitor, Cyclosporin A, (Fournier et al., 1987; Crompton et al., 1988; Broekemeier et al., 1989) and the possibility of a role of the permeability transition in ischemic damage (Broekemeier et al., 1992; Crompton et al., 1992) have attracted renewed attention towards this phenomenon, at about the same time at which patch-clamp was beginning to be used in mitochondrial research.
KeywordsVoltage Dependence Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore Contact Site Heart Mitochondrion Conductance Level
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