Letter | Published:

The importance of CO2 for Ca2+ uptake by some mitochondria

Nature volume 274, pages 820821 (24 August 1978) | Download Citation

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Abstract

METABOLISING mammalian mitochondria normally will take up a considerable (30–80 nmol per mg protein) quantity of Ca2+ when no anion, such as phosphate or acetate, has been added to move in and balance the charges on the Ca2+ accumulated1,2. This has been attributed to reaction of the Ca2+ with membrane components. Recently3,4 the importance of adventitious phosphate, always present in mitochondrial suspensions3, has been recognised, and it has been shown that inhibition of phosphate movement lessens3,5, or can abolish, Ca2+ uptake4. Carbon dioxide is a further source of anion to accumulate with Ca2+ in mitochondria possessing carbonic anhydrase activity6. The importance of this process, which readily proceeds using the dissolved CO2 already present in the system, is now illustrated using a sensitive indicator of Ca2+ movement. Also, the production of 2H+ per Ca2+ accumulated as CaCO3 can account for the increase in the ratio H+: Ca2+, which is observed when phosphate uptake is inhibited.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Biophysics, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1, UK

    • E. J. HARRIS

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/274820a0

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