Indexed on: 03 Jul '04Published on: 03 Jul '04Published in: Journal of Biological Chemistry
Mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT), which contributes substantially to the regulation of normal mitochondrial metabolism, also plays a crucial role in the initiation of cell death. It is known that MPT is regulated in a tissue-specific manner. The importance of MPT in the pancreatic beta-cell is heightened by the fact that mitochondrial bioenergetics serve as the main glucose-sensing regulator and energy source for insulin secretion. In the present study, using MIN6 and INS-1 beta-cells, we revealed that both Ca(2+)-phosphate- and oxidant-induced MPT is remarkably different from other tissues. Ca(2+)-phosphate-induced transition is accompanied by a decline in mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production related to a significant potential dependence of reactive oxygen species formation in beta-cell mitochondria. Hydroperoxides, which are indirect MPT co-inducers active in liver and heart mitochondria, are inefficient in beta-cell mitochondria, due to the low mitochondrial ability to metabolize them. Direct cross-linking of mitochondrial thiols in pancreatic beta-cells induces the opening of a low conductance ion permeability of the mitochondrial membrane instead of the full scale MPT opening typical for liver mitochondria. Low conductance MPT is independent of both endogenous and exogenous Ca(2+), suggesting a novel type of nonclassical MPT in beta-cells. It results in the conversion of electrical transmembrane potential into DeltapH instead of a decrease in total protonmotive force, thus mitochondrial respiration remains in a controlled state. Both Ca(2+)- and oxidant-induced MPTs are phosphate-dependent and, through the "phosphate flush" (associated with stimulation of insulin secretion), are expected to participate in the regulation in beta-cell glucose-sensing and secretory activity.