Inhibition by Ca2+ of oxidative phosphorylation in myeloid tumor mitochondria

Samir Abou-Khalil, Wafa H. Abou-Khalil, Adel A. Yunis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In tightly coupled respiring myeloid tumor mitochondria, the addition of Ca2+ in the presence of phosphate results in total inhibition of respiration with NAD-linked-substrates (e.g., glutamate and β-hydroxybutyrate) and partial inhibition with FAD-linked substrate (e.g., succinate). With those substrates, Ca2+ also completely inhibits both subsequent phosphorylating respiration in response to ADP and respiratory stimulation by an uncoupler. This latter was only partially inhibited in the absence of phosphate. Endogenous contents of Ca2+, Mg2+, and phosphate of the isolated mitochondria appeared to be in the normal range. Ruthenium red, a specific inhibitor of energy-dependent Ca2+ uptake, totally prevents the inhibitory effects of Ca2+. Moreover, Mg2+ and ATP added either singly or together could partially or completely prevent the Ca2+ inhibitory action. While the mechanism of protection by ATP is not known, protection by Mg2+ could be related to the inhibitory effect of this cation on Ca2+ accumulation. It is suggested that the inhibition of oxidative phosphorylation by Ca2+ in myeloid tumor mitochondria is primarily caused by a high calcium-phosphate salt precipitation into the matrix.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-464
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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