Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 41–46 | Cite as

A soluble mitochondrial protein increases the voltage dependence of the mitochondrial channel, VDAC

  • Ming Yao Liu
  • Marco Colombini
Research Paper


A soluble protein isolated from mitochondria has been found to modulate the voltage-dependent properties of the mitochondrial outer membrane channel, VDAC. This protein, called the VDAC modulator, was first found inNeurospora crassa and then discovered in species from other eukaryotic kingdoms. The modulator-containing fraction (at a crude protein concentration of 20 µg/ml) increases the voltage dependence of VDAC channels over 2–3-fold. At higher protein concentrations (50–100 µg/ml), some channels seem to remain in a closed state or be blocked while others display the higher voltage dependence and are able to close at low membrane potentials. By increasing the steepness of the voltage-dependent properties of VDAC channels, this modulator may serve as an amplifierin vivo to increase the sensitivity of the channels in response to changes in the cell's microenvironment, and consequently, regulate the metabolic flux across the outer mitochondrial membrane by controlling the gating of VDAC channels.

Key words

Ion channel voltage-dependent channel mitochondrial outer membrane modulating protein VDAC channel regulation 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ming Yao Liu
    • 1
  • Marco Colombini
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratories of Cell Biology, Department of ZoologyThe University of MarylandCollege Park

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