The total activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase in mitochondria isolated from rat brain and liver was 53.5 and 14.2nmol/min per mg of protein respectively. Pyruvate dehydrogenase in liver mitochondria incubated for 4 min at 37 degrees C with no additions was 30% in the active form and this activity increased with longer incubations until it was completely in the active form after 20 min. Brain mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase activity was initially high and did not increase with addition of Mg2+ plus Ca2+ or partially purified pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase or with longer incubations. The proportion of pyruvate dehydrogenase in the active form in both brain and liver mitochondria changed inversely with changes in mitochondrial energy charge, whereas total pyruvate dehydrogenase did not change. The chelators citrate, isocitrate, EDTA, ethanedioxybis(ethylamine)tetra-acetic acid and Ruthenium Red each lowered pyruvate dehydrogenase activity in brain mitochondria, but only citrate and isocitrate did so in liver mitochondria. These chelators did not affect the energy charge of the mitochondria. Mg2+ plus Ca2+ reversed the pyruvate dehydrogenase inactivation in liver, but not brain, mitochondria. The regulation of the activation-inactivation of pyruvate dehydrogenase in mitochondria from rat brain and liver with respect to energy charge is similar and may be at least partially regulated by this parameter, and the effects of chelators differ in the two types of mitochondria.
- © 1975 The Biochemical Society