A comparative study of the inhibitory effects of purine nucleotides and carboxyatractylate on the uncoupling protein-3 and adenine nucleotide translocase
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Uncoupling proteins (UCPs) mediate fatty acid-induced proton cycling in mitochondria, which is stimulated by superoxide and inhibited by GDP. Fatty acid anions can also be transported by adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT), thus resulting in the uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation. In the present work, an attempt was made to distinguish between the protonophoric activity of UCP3 and that of ANT using inhibition analysis. This study was carried out using mitochondria from skeletal muscles of hibernating Yakut ground squirrel, which have a significant level of UCP3 mRNA. We found that millimolar concentrations of GDP, which is considered to be a specific inhibitor of UCPs, slightly recoupled the mitochondrial respiration and restored the membrane potential. Addition of the specific ANT inhibitor CAT (carboxyatractylate), in micromolar concentration, prior to GDP prevented its recoupling effect. Moreover, GDP and ADP exhibited a competitive kinetic behavior with respect to ANT. In brown adipose tissue, CAT did not prevent the UCP1-iduced increase in chloride permeability and the inhibitory effect of GDP, thus confirming the inability of CAT to affect UCP1. These results allow us to conclude that the recoupling effect of purine nucleotides on skeletal muscle mitochondria of hibernating ground squirrels can be explained by interaction of the nucleotides with ANT, whereas UCP3 is not involved in the process.
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