Cholesterol impairs the adenine nucleotide translocator-mediated mitochondrial permeability transition through altered membrane fluidity.

The Journal of Biological Chemistry
A ColellJose C Fernandez-Checa


Mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) has been proposed to play a key role in cell death. Downstream MPT events include the release of apoptogenic factors that sets in motion the mitochondrial apoptosome leading to caspase activation. The current work examined the regulation of MPT by membrane fluidity modulated upon cholesterol enrichment. Mitochondria enriched in cholesterol displayed increased microviscosity resulting in impaired MPT induced by atractyloside, a c-conformation stabilizing ligand of the adenine nucleotide translocator (ANT). This effect was dependent on the dose of cholesterol loaded and reversed upon the fluidization of mitochondria by the fatty acid derivative A2C. Mitoplasts derived from cholesterol-enriched mitochondria responded to atractyloside in a similar fashion as intact mitochondria, indicating that a significant amount of cholesterol is still found in the inner membrane. The effects of cholesterol on MPT induced by atractyloside were mirrored by the release of intermembrane proteins, cytochrome c, Smac/Diablo, and apoptosis inducing factor. However, cholesterol loading did not affect the uptake rate of adenine nucleotide hence dissociating the function of ANT as a MPT-mediated protein from it...Continue Reading


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