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Reconstitution and partial purification of the glibenclamide-sensitive, ATP-dependent K+ channel from rat liver and beef heart mitochondria.

P Paucek, G Mironova, F Mahdi, A D Beavis, G Woldegiorgis, K D Garlid

J. Biol. Chem., 1992 Dec 25 , 267, 26062-9

The transport properties of mitochondria are such that net potassium flux across the inner membrane determines mitochondrial volume. It has been known that K+ uptake is mediated by diffusive leak driven by the high electrical membrane potential maintained by redox-driven, electrogenic proton ejection and that regulated K+ efflux is mediated by an 82-kDa inner membrane K+/H+ antiporter. There is also long-standing suggestive evidence for the existence of an inner membrane protein designed to catalyze electrophoretic K+ uptake into mitochondria. We report reconstitution of a highly purified inner membrane protein fraction from rat liver and beef heart mitochondria that catalyzes electrophoretic K+ flux in liposomes and channel activity in planar lipid bilayers. The unit conductance of the channel at saturating [K+] is about 30 pS. Reconstituted K+ flux is inhibited with high affinity by ATP and ADP in the presence of divalent cations and by glibenclamide in the absence of divalent cations. The mitochondrial ATP-dependent K+ channel is selective for K+, with a Km of 32 mM, and does not transport Na+. K+ transport depends on voltage in a manner consistent with a channel activity that is not voltage-regulated. Thus, the mitochondrial ATP-dependent K+ channel exhibits properties that are remarkably similar to those of the ATP-dependent K+ channels of plasma membranes.