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

Glucagon treatment of rats activates the respiratory chain of liver mitochondria at more than one site.

The rate of reduction of ferricyanide in the presence and absence of antimycin and ubiquinone-1 was measured using liver mitochondria from control and glucagon treated rats. Glucagon treatment was shown to increase electron flow from both NADH and succinate to ubiquinone, and from ubiquinone to cytochrome c. 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea (DCMU) was shown to inhibit the oxidation of glutamate + malate to a much greater extent than that of succinate or duroquinol. Spectral and kinetic studies confirmed that electron flow between NADH and ubiquinone was the primary site of action but that the interaction of the ubiquinone pool with complex 3 was also affected. The effects of various respiratory chain inhibitors on the rate of uncoupled oxidation of succinate and glutamate + malate by control and glucagon treated mitochondria were studied. The stimulation of respiration seen in the mitochondria from glucagon treated rats was maintained or increased as respiration was progressively inhibited with DCMU, 2,5-dibromo-3-methyl-6-isopropyl-p-benzoquinone (DBMIB), 2-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline-n-oxide (HQNO) and colletotrichin, but greatly reduced when inhibition was produced with malonate or antimycin. These data were also shown to support the conclusion that glucagon treatment may cause some stimulation of electron flow through NADH dehydrogenase, succinate dehydrogenase and through the bc1 complex, probably at the point of interaction of the complexes with the ubiquinone pool. The effects of glucagon treatment on duroquinol oxidation and the inhibitor titrations could not be mimicked by increasing the matrix volume, nor totally reversed by aging of mitochondria. These are both processes that have been suggested as the means by which glucagon exerts its effects on the respiratory chain (Armston, A.E., Halestrap, A.P. and Scott, R.D., 1982, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 681, 429-439). It is concluded that an additional mechanism for regulating electron flow must exist and a change in lipid peroxidation of the inner mitochondrial membrane is suggested.[1]


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