, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 165-176

Does Any Yeast Mitochondrial Carrier Have a Native Uncoupling Protein Function?

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In this study, we explore the hypothesis that some member of the mitochondrial carrier family has specific uncoupling activity that is responsible for the basal proton conductance of mitochondria. Twenty-seven of the 35 yeast mitochondrial carrier genes were independently disrupted in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Six knockout strains did not grow on nonfermentable carbon sources such as lactate. Mitochondria were isolated from the remaining 21 strains, and their proton conductances were measured. None of the 21 carriers contributed significantly to the basal proton leak of yeast mitochondria. A possible exception was the succinate/fumarate carrier encoded by the Xc2 gene, but deletion of this gene also affected yeast growth and respiratory chain activity, suggesting a more general alteration in mitochondrial function. If a specific protein is responsible for the basal proton conductance of yeast mitochondria, its identity remains unknown.