Mitochondrial creatine kinase mediates contact formation between mitochondrial membranes

M. Rojo, R. Hovius, R. Demel, K. Nicolaij, T. Wallimann

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Purified mitochondrial creatine kinase (Mi-CK) (EC from chicken heart was shown to interact simultaneously with purified inner and outer mitochondrial membranes, thereby creating an intermembrane chondrial membranes, thereby creating an intermembrane were purified from rat liver and thus were fully devoid of Mi-CK. Intermembrane contact formation was demonstrated by measuring the binding of inner membrane vesicles to outer membranes spread at the air-water interface. Mi-CK also mediated intermembrane adhesion when membranes formed with total lipid extracts of both membranes were used, pointing to the role of lipids as potential membrane anchors of Mi-CK in the mitochondrial intermembrane space. Other enzymes of the intermembrane space that (like Mi-CK) are also cationic, as well as cytosolic isoenzymes of creatine kinase, failed to induce contact formation. Thus, of the proteins tested, membrane contact formation was specific for Mi-CK. The two oligomeric forms of Mi-CK (octamer and dimer) differed in their ability to mediate intermembrane adhesion, the octamer being more potent. Highly basic peptides, i.e. poly-L-lysines, were shown to strongly interact with membranes formed with lipid extracts of mitochondrial membranes: they both induced intermembrane binding and fusion. Interestingly, the extent of contact formation mediated by poly-L-lysines was lower than that of octameric Mi-CK. The implications of these findings on the function and localization of Mi-CK and on the structure of the mitochondrial intermembrane compartment are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20290-20295
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 1991


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