Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 115–141 | Cite as

Steady-state kinetics of the overall oxidative phosphorylation reaction in heart mitochondria. Determination of the coupling relationships between the respiratory reactions and miscellaneous observations concerning rate-limiting steps

  • Clinton D. Stoner
Research Articles


The linear sequence of steps involved in the oxidation of extramitochondrial succinate by O2 in bovine heart mitochondria was examined by a steady-state kinetic method to determine whether or not freely diffusible intermediates occur between the various inhibitor-sensitive steps. The kinetic method is based on the facts (1) that if two inhibitor-sensitive steps within a sequence are linked by a freely diffusible intermediate, inhibition of one will make the other less rate limiting in the overall reaction and thus will increase the amount of inhibitor of the other step required for half-maximal inhibition of the overall reaction, and (2) that if the two steps are not linked in this manner, inhibition of one will make the other more rate limiting and thus will decrease the amount of inhibitor of the other required for half-maximal inhibition. These two types of “coupling relationships” between steps were designated as “sequential” and “fixed,” respectively. The results indicate the existence of freely diffusible intermediates (sequential coupling relationships) between the succinate transport and succinate dehydrogenase reactions, between the succinate dehydrogenase and cytochromebc1 reactions, and between the cytochromesbc1 andaa3 reactions. Uncoupling respiration from phosphorylation results in the coupling relationship between thebc1 andaa3 reactions becoming partially fixed. This change is accompanied by marked decreases in the degrees to which thebc1 andaa3 reactions limit the overall reaction and appears to account for the large uncoupler-induced releases of inhibition at the levels of thebc1 andaa3 reactions observed previously by others. It is suggested that cytochromec is the freely diffusible intermediate between thebc1 andaa3 reactions and that the uncoupler-induced changes occur as a result of formation of functional and highly efficient supercomplexes between cytochromec and the cytochromesbc1 andaa3 complexes.

Key words

Mitochondria oxidative phosphorylation steady-state kinetics rate-limiting step coupling relationship succinoxidase specific inhibition 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clinton D. Stoner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, College of MedicineOhio State UniversityColumbus

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