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

Studies on the interactions of Ca2+ and pyruvate in the regulation of rat heart pyruvate dehydrogenase activity. Effects of starvation and diabetes.

1. Previous studies showed that the activation of pyruvate dehydrogenase within intact rat heart mitochondria of pyruvate is much diminished in mitochondria from starved or diabetic animals [see Kerbey, Randle, Cooper, Whitehouse, Pask & Denton (1976) Biochem. J. 154, 327-348]. In the present study, diminished responses to added Ca2+ and ADP were also found in these mitochondria. 2. Starvation or diabetes did not affect the mitochondrial respiratory control ratio of the ATP content. Moreover, starvation and diabetes did not alter the response of the intramitochondrial Ca2+-sensitive enzyme, 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase, to changes in the extramitochondrial concentration of Ca2+ and 2-oxoglutarate, thus indicating that there were no appreciable changes in the distribution of Ca2+ and H+ across the mitochondrial inner membrane. 3. Pyruvate, Ca2+ and ADP were found to have synergistic effects on pyruvate dehydrogenase activity, particularly in mitochondria from starved and diabetic rats. 4. The results suggest that the effects of diabetes and starvation on pyruvate dehydrogenase are not brought about by changes in the distribution of these effectors across the mitochondrial inner membrane or by changes in the intrinsic sensitivity of the kinase or phosphatase of the pyruvate dehydrogenase system to pyruvate, Ca2+ or ADP; rather it is probably that there is an increase in the maximum activity of kinase relative to that of the phosphatase. 6. The results also lend further support to the hypothesis that adrenaline may bring about the activation of pyruvate dehydrogenase in the rat heart by an increase in the intramitochondrial concentration of Ca2+.[1]


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