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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Suppression of the mitochondrial oxidation of (-)-palmitylcarnitine by the malate-aspartate and alpha-glycerophosphate shuttles.

Palmitylcarnitine oxidation by isolated liver mitochondria has been used to investigate the interaction of fatty acid oxidation with malate, glutamate, succinate, and the malate-aspartate shuttle. Mitochondria preincubated with fluorocitrate were added to a medium containing 2mM ATP and ATPase. This system, characterized by a high energy change, allowed titration of respiration to any desired rate between States 4 and 3 (Chance, B., and Williams, G. R. (1956) Adv. Enzymol. Relat. Areas Mol. Biol. 17, 65-134). When respiration (reference, with palmitylcarnitine and malate as substrates) was set at 75% of State 3, the oxidation of palmitylcarnitine was limited by acetoacetate formation. The addition of malate or glutamate approximately doubled the rate of beta oxidation. Malate circumvented this limitation by citrate formation, but the effect of glutamate apparently was due to enhancement of the capacity for ketogenesis. The rate of beta oxidation was curtailed when malate and glutamate were both present. This curtailment was more pronounced when the malate-aspartate shuttle was fully reconstituted. Among the oxidizable substrates examined, succinate was most effective in inhibiting palmitylcarnitine oxidation. Mitochondrial NADH/NAD+ ratios were correlated positively with suppression of beta oxidation. The degree of suppression of beta oxidation by the malate-aspartate shuttle (NADH oxidation) or by succinate oxidation was dependent on the respiratory state. Both substrates extensively reduced mitochondrial NAD+ and markedly suppressed beta oxidation as respiration approached State 4. Calculations of the rates of flux of hydrogen equivalents through beta oxidation show that the suppression of beta oxidation by glutamate or by the malate-aspartate shuttle is accounted for by increased flux of reducing equivalents through mitochondrial malic dehydrogenase. This increased Flux is accompanied by an increase in the steady state NADH/NAD+ ratio and a marked decrease in the synthesis of citrate. The alpha-glycerophosphate shuttle was reconstituted with mitochondria isolated from rats treated with L-thyroxine. This shuttle was about equal to the reconstructed malate-aspartate shuttle in supression of palmitylcarnitine oxidation. This interaction could not be demonstrated in euthyroid animals owing to the low activity of the mitochondrial alpha-glycerol phosphate dehydrogenase. It is concluded that beta oxidation can be regulated by the NADH/NAD+ ratio. The observed stimulation of flux through malate dehydrogenase both by glutamate and by the malate-aspartate shuttle results in an increased steady state NADH/NAD+ ratio, and is linked to a stoichiometric outward transport of aspartate. We suggest, therefore, that some of the reducing pressure exerted by the malate-aspartate shuttle and by glutamate plus malate is provided through the energy-linked, electrogenic transport of aspartate out of the mitochondria. These results are discussed with respect to the mechanism of the genesis of ethanol-induced fatty liver.[1]


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