Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 515–524 | Cite as

Inhibition of the Na+/Ca2+ antiport of heart mitochondria by diethylpyrocarbonate

  • Michael H. Davis
  • Dennis W. Jung
  • Gerald P. Brierley
Research Articles


Diethylpyrocarbonate inhibits Na+/Ca2+ antiport activity in isolated heart mitochondria. The inhibition is time-dependent with maximum activity developed after 5 min at 25°C. The reaction of diethylpyrocarbonate with the mitochondrial membrane is biphasic with 25–30 nmol mg−1 reacting rapidly and an additional 30 nmol mg−1 taken up slowly over a 30-min incubation. Inhibition of mitochondrial Na+/Ca2+ antiport by diethylpyrocarbonate decreases theVmax of the reaction, and the inhibition cannot be reversed by washing the mitochondria or addition of excess histidine. The inhibition occurs at levels of inhibitor that have little or no effect on Ca2+ uptake, Na+/H+ antiport, or succinate respiration. A portion of the Na+-dependent efflux of Ca2+ is insensitive to diethylpyrocarbonate and this component is abolished by diltiazem. The mechanism by which diethylpyrocarbonate inactivates Na+/Ca2+ antiport is still uncertain, but may involve the modification of an unprotonated histidine residue in the transporter.

Key Words

Mitochondria diethylpyrocarbonate heart inhibition sodium calcium 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael H. Davis
    • 1
  • Dennis W. Jung
    • 1
  • Gerald P. Brierley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiological ChemistryOhio State University Medical CenterColumbus

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