Indexed on: 26 Dec '01Published on: 26 Dec '01Published in: Biophysical Journal
Nucleotide penetration into the voltage-dependent mitochondrial ion channel (VDAC) reduces single-channel conductance and generates excess current noise through a fully open channel. VDAC channels were reconstituted into planar phospholipid membranes bathed in 1.0 M NaCl. At a given nucleotide concentration, the average decrease in small-ion channel conductance induced by mononucleotides ATP, ADP, AMP, and UTP and dinucleotides beta- and alpha-NADH, NAD, and NADPH are very close. However, the excess current noise is about seven times higher in the presence of NADPH than in the presence of ATP and is about 40 times higher than in the presence of UTP. The nucleotide-generated low-frequency noise obeys the following sequence: beta-NADPH > beta-NADH = alpha-NADH > ATP > ADP > beta-NAD > or = AMP > UTP. Measurements of bulk-phase diffusion coefficients and of the effective charge of the nucleotides in 1.0 M NaCl suggest that differences in size and charge cannot be the major factors responsible for the ability to generate current noise. Thus, although the ability of nucleotides to partition into the channel's pore, as assessed by the reduction in conductance, is very similar, the ability to generate current noise involves a detailed recognition of the three-dimensional structure of the nucleotide by the VDAC channel. A possible mechanism for this selectivity is two noise-generating processes operating in parallel.