PMID: 16666083May 1, 1988

Oxaloacetate and malate transport by plant mitochondria

Plant Physiology
C ZoglowekH W Heldt


The permeability of mitochondria from pea (Pisum sativum L. var Kleine Rheinländerin) leaves, etiolated pea shoots, and potato (Solanum tuberosum) tuber for malate, oxaloacetate, and other dicarboxylates was investigated by measurement of mitochondrial swelling in isoosmolar solutions of the above mentioned metabolites. For the sake of comparison, parallel experiments were also performed with rat liver mitochondria. Unlike the mammalian mitochondria, the plant mitochondria showed only little swelling in ammonium malate plus phosphate media but a dramatic increase of swelling on the addition of valinomycin. Similar results were obtained with oxaloacetate, maleate, fumarate, succinate, and malonate. n-Butylmalonate and phenylsuccinate, impermeant inhibitors of malate transport in mammalian mitochondria, had no marked inhibitory effect on valinomycin-dependent malate and oxaloacetate uptake of the plant mitochondria. The swelling of plant mitochondria in malate plus valinomycin was strongly inhibited by oxaloacetate, at a concentration ratio of oxaloacetate/malate of 10(-3). From these findings it is concluded: (a) In a malate-oxaloacetate shuttle transferring redox equivalents from the mitochondrial matrix to the cytosol, malate ...Continue Reading


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