bims-resufa Biomed news
on Respiratory Supercomplex Factors
Issue of 2018‒07‒15
two papers selected by
Vera Strogolova
Marquette University


  1. Integr Comp Biol. 2018 Jul 05.
    Salin K, Villasevil EM, Anderson GJ, Selman C, Chinopoulos C, Metcalfe NB.
      Mitochondrial efficiency is typically taken to represent an animal's capacity to convert its resources into ATP. However, the term mitochondrial efficiency, as currently used in the literature, can be calculated as either the respiratory control ratio, RCR (ratio of mitochondrial respiration supporting ATP synthesis to that required to offset the proton leak) or as the amount of ATP generated per unit of oxygen consumed, ATP/O ratio. The question of how flexibility in mitochondrial energy properties (i.e. in rates of respiration to support ATP synthesis and offset proton leak, and in the rate of ATP synthesis) affects these indices of mitochondrial efficiency has tended to be overlooked. Furthermore, little is known of whether the RCR and ATP/O ratio vary in parallel, either among individuals or in response to environmental conditions. Using data from brown trout Salmo trutta we show that experimental conditions affect mitochondrial efficiency, but the apparent direction of change depends on the index chosen: a reduction in food availability was associated with an increased RCR (i.e. increased efficiency) but a decreased ATP/O ratio (decreased efficiency) in liver mitochondria. Moreover, there was a negative correlation across individuals held in identical conditions between their RCR and their ATP/O ratio. These results show that the choice of index of mitochondrial efficiency can produce different, even opposing, conclusions about the capacity of the mitochondria to produce ATP. Neither ratio is necessarily a complete measure of efficiency of ATP production in the living animal (RCR because it contains no assessment of ATP production, and ATP/O because it contains no assessment of respiration to offset the proton leak). Consequently, we suggest that a measure of mitochondrial efficiency obtained nearer to conditions where respiration simultaneously offsets the proton leak and produce ATP would be sensitive to changes in both proton leakage and ATP production, and is thus likely to be more representative of the state of the mitochondria in vivo.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/icy085
  2. Integr Comp Biol. 2018 Jul 05.
    Jimenez AG.
      All aerobic organisms are subjected to metabolic by-products known as reactive species (RS).RS can wreak havoc on macromolecules by structurally altering proteins and inducing mutations in DNA, among other deleterious effects. . To combat accumulating damage, organisms have an antioxidant system to sequester RS before they cause cellular damage. The balance between RS production, antioxidant defences, and accumulated cellular damage is termed oxidative stress. Physiological ecologists, gerontologists and metabolic biochemists have turned their attention to whether oxidative stress is the principal, generalized mechanism that mediates and limits longevity, growth rates and other life-history trade-offs in animals, as may be the case in mammals and birds. At the crux of this theory lies the regulation and activities of the mitochondria with respect to the organism and its metabolic rate. At the whole-animal level, evolutionary theory suggests that developmental trajectories and growth rates can shape the onset and rate of aging. Mitochondrial function is important for aging since it is the main source of energy in cells, and the main source of RS. Altering oxidative stress levels, either increases in oxidative damage or reduction in antioxidants, has proven to also decrease growth rates, which implies that oxidative stress is a cost of, as well as a constraint on, growth. Yet, in nature, many animals exhibit fast growth rates that lead to higher loads of oxidative stress, which are often linked to shorter lifespans. In this paper, I summarize the latest findings on whole-animal life history trade-offs, such as growth rates and longevity, and how these can be affected by mitochondrial cellular metabolism, and oxidative stress.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/icy090