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Received March 10, 2010; Revision received September 21, 2010
In liver mitochondria fatty acids act as protonophoric uncouplers mainly with participation of internal membrane protein carriers – ADP/ATP and aspartate/glutamate antiporters. In this study the values of recoupling effects of carboxyatractylate and glutamate (or aspartate) were used to assess the degree of participation of ADP/ATP and aspartate/glutamate antiporters in uncoupling activity of fatty acids. These values were determined from the ability of these recoupling agents to suppress the respiration stimulated by fatty acids and to raise the membrane potential reduced by fatty acids. Increase in palmitic and lauric acid concentration was shown to increase the degree of participation of ADP/ATP antiporter and to decrease the degree of participation of aspartate/glutamate antiporter in uncoupling to the same extent. These data suggest that fatty acids are not only inducers of uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation, but that they also act the regulators of this process. The linear dependence of carboxyatractylate and glutamate recoupling effects ratio on palmitic and lauric acids concentration was established. Comparison of the effects of fatty acids (palmitic, myristic, lauric, capric, and caprylic having 16, 14, 12, 10, and 8 carbon atoms, respectively) has shown that, as the hydrophobicity of fatty acids decreases, the effectiveness decreases to a greater degree than the respective values of their specific uncoupling activity. The action of fatty acids as regulators of uncoupling is supposed to consist of activation of transport of their anions from the internal to the external monolayer of the internal membrane with participation of ADP/ATP antiporter and, at the same time, in inhibition of this process with the participation of aspartate/glutamate antiporter.
KEY WORDS: ADP/ATP antiporter, aspartate/glutamate antiporter, fatty acids, liver mitochondria, regulation, uncoupling