A comparison of Zn2+- and Ca2+-triggered depolarization of liver mitochondria reveals no evidence of Zn2+-induced permeability transition.
Intracellular Zn(2+) toxicity is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. Zn(2+) depolarizes mitochondria in assays using isolated organelles as well as cultured cells. Some reports suggest that Zn(2+)-induced depolarization results from the opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP). For a more detailed analysis of this relationship, we compared Zn(2+)-induced depolarization with the effects of Ca(2+) in single isolated rat liver mitochondria monitored with the potentiometric probe rhodamine 123. Consistent with previous work, we found that relatively low levels of Ca(2+) caused rapid, complete and irreversible loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, an effect that was diminished by classic inhibitors of mPT, including high Mg(2+), ADP and cyclosporine A. Zn(2+) also depolarized mitochondria, but only at relatively high concentrations. Furthermore Zn(2+)-induced depolarization was slower, partial and sometimes reversible, and was not affected by inhibitors of mPT. We also compared the effects of Ca(2+) and Zn(2+) in a calcein-retention assay. Consistent with the well-documented ability of Ca(2+) to induce mPT, we found that it caused rapid and substantial loss of matrix calcein. In contrast, calcein remained in Zn(2+)-treated mitochondria. Considered together, our results suggest that Ca(2+) and Zn(2+) depolarize mitochondria by considerably different mechanisms, that opening of the mPTP is not a direct consequence of Zn(2+)-induced depolarization, and that Zn(2+) is not a particularly potent mitochondrial inhibitor.
Devinney, MJ; Malaiyandi, LM; Vergun, O; DeFranco, DB; Hastings, TG; Dineley, KE
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