Letter | Published:

Body mass dependence of H+ leak in mitochondria and its relevance to metabolic rate

Nature volume 362, pages 628630 (15 April 1993) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

THE standard metabolic rate of an animal is the rate of heat production under conditions that minimize known extra requirements for energy1,2. In tissues and cells from aerobic organisms, energy expenditure can conveniently be measured as oxygen consumption3,4. Measurements made using isolated rat hepatocytes have shown that a significant contribution to resting oxygen consumption (and hence heat production) is made by a futile cycle of proton pumping and proton leak across the mitochondrial inner membrane5. Two important factors affecting standard metabolic rate, thyroid status and phylogeny, also affect the proton permeability5–10. A third major factor affecting standard metabolic rate is body mass11,12. Here we show that proton leak decreases with increasing body mass in mammals. We suggest that differences in proton leak may partly explain the differences in standard metabolic rate between mammals of different mass.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    in The Fire of Life (Wiley, New York. 1961).

  2. 2.

    in Bioenergetics and Growth (Reinhold, New York, 1951).

  3. 3.

    Proc. Soc. exp. Biol. Med. 48, 419–423 (1941).

  4. 4.

    Biochim. biophys. Acta 4, 249–269 (1950).

  5. 5.

    , , & J. biol. Chem. 265, 12903–12909 (1990).

  6. 6.

    , , & Eur. J. Biochem. 178, 511–518 (1988).

  7. 7.

    , & FEBS Lett. 248, 175–178 (1989).

  8. 8.

    , & Molec. cell. Endocrinol. 68, 137–141 (1990).

  9. 9.

    , , , & Eur. J. Biochem. 206, 775–781 (1992).

  10. 10.

    , , , & Biochem. J. 275, 81–86 (1991).

  11. 11.

    Hilgardia 6, 315–353 (1932).

  12. 12.

    & Univ. Mo. Agr. Exp. Sta. Res. Bull. 166, 89–101 (1932).

  13. 13.

    & Biochem. J. 105, 1147–1162 (1967).

  14. 14.

    & Biochemistry 23, 1640–1645 (1984).

  15. 15.

    Biochim. biophys. Acta 1018, 128–133 (1990).

  16. 16.

    & Biochim. biophys. Acta 1059, 55–62 (1991).

  17. 17.

    J. biol. Chem. 264, 14704–14709 (1989).

  18. 18.

    & Biochem. J. 275, 75–80 (1991).

  19. 19.

    & EBEC Short Rep. 7, 64 (1992).

  20. 20.

    J. theor. Biol. 145, 267–286 (1990).

  21. 21.

    & Am. J. Physiol. 248, R415–R421 (1985).

  22. 22.

    in Scaling: Why is Animal Size so Important? (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1984).

  23. 23.

    in Energy Metabolism in Animals and Man (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1989).

  24. 24.

    Acta Univ. Carol. Biol. 1, 1–91 (1965).

  25. 25.

    Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 62, 403–422 (1955).

  26. 26.

    in Size, Function and Life History (Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1984).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QW, UK

    • Richard K. Porter
    •  & Martin D. Brand

Authors

  1. Search for Richard K. Porter in:

  2. Search for Martin D. Brand in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/362628a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.