Need for Inorganic Phosphate in Oxidations stimulated by Dinitrophenol


Recently we have reported, in disagreement with the widely accepted view, that the maximal rate of oxygen uptake by respiring rat-liver or rat-heart mitochondria with glutamate as substrate is not obtained with 2,4-dinitrophenol unless phosphate is also present1. With succinate as substrate, on the other hand, the same initial rate of oxygen uptake was found with dinitrophenol as with inorganic phosphate. We concluded that a link in the respiratory chain between glutamate and cytochrome b required phosphate even in the presence of dinitrophenol, a conclusion which seemed to have important implications for theories of the mechanism of the uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation by dinitrophenol.


  1. 1

    Borst, P., and Slater, E. C., Nature, 184, 1396 (1959).

  2. 2

    Slater, E. C., Nature, 172, 975 (1953).

  3. 3

    Judah, J. D., Biochem. J., 49, 271 (1951). Hunter, F. E., in “Phosphorus Metabolism”, 1, 297 (The Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 1959).

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BORST, P., SLATER, E. Need for Inorganic Phosphate in Oxidations stimulated by Dinitrophenol. Nature 185, 537 (1960).

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