* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received August 7, 2009; Revision received September 28, 2009
The current view on apoptosis is given, with a special emphasis placed on apoptosis in yeasts. Induction of a nonspecific permeability transition pore (mPTP) in mammalian and yeast mitochondria is described, particularly in mitochondria from Yarrowia lipolytica and Dipodascus (Endomyces) magnusii yeasts, which are aerobes possessing the fully competent respiratory chain with all three points of energy conservation and well-structured mitochondria. They were examined for their ability to induce an elevated permeability transition of the inner mitochondrial membrane, being subjected to virtually all conditions known to induce the mPTP in animal mitochondria. Yeast mitochondria do not form Ca2+-dependent pores, neither the classical Ca2+/Pi-dependent, cyclosporin A-sensitive pore even under deenergization of mitochondria or depletion of the intramitochondrial nucleotide pools, nor a pore induced in mammalian mitochondria upon concerted action of moderate Ca2+ concentrations (in the presence of the Ca2+ ionophore ETH129) and saturated fatty acids. No pore formation was found in yeast mitochondria in the presence of elevated phosphate concentrations at acidic pH values. It is concluded that the permeability transition in yeast mitochondria is not coupled with Ca2+ uptake and is differently regulated compared to the mPTP of animal mitochondria.
KEY WORDS: mitochondria, yeasts, Yarrowia lipolytica, Dipodascus (Endomyces) magnusii, Ca2+, inorganic phosphate, saturated fatty acids, pH, membrane potential, swelling, pore, apoptosis