A Physico-chemical Basis for Anion, Cation and Proton Distributions between Rat-liver Mitochondria and the Suspending Medium

  • E. J. Harris


The distribution of ions, including protons, between the mitochondrial interior and the medium can be treated, most simply, as a physicochemical problem akin to that met with in cell suspensions, particularly when sufficient is known about the system. More is now known about mitochondrial properties, and the aim of the present review is to summarize the evidence, some new and much derived from earlier reports, that the distributions of permeant anions and of protons between the mitochondrial interior and the exterior provide an example of the Gibbs—Donnan law applied to a situation with an ionized internal buffer. This can only hold of course when the metabolic fluxes are low. Some anions behave as non-penetrants and so can take on any distribution ratio. The cations Ca2+ and K+ are subject to energy-linked inward transport.


Tricalcium Phosphate Proton Distribution Anion Content Internal Buffer Permeant Anion 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Company Limited 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. J. Harris
    • 1
  1. 1.Biophysics DepartmentUniversity CollegeLondon, W.C.1UK

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