The mitochondrial permeability transition from yeast to mammals

Luca Azzolin, Sophia von Stockum, Emy Basso, Valeria Petronilli, Michael A. Forte, Paolo Bernardi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Regulated permeability changes have been detected in mitochondria across species. We review here their key features, with the goal of assessing whether a " permeability transition" similar to that observed in higher eukaryotes is present in other species. The recent discoveries (i) that treatment with cyclosporin A (CsA) unmasks an inhibitory site for inorganic phosphate (Pi) [Basso, E., Petronilli, V., Forte, M.A. and Bernardi, P. (2008) Phosphate is essential for inhibition of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore by cyclosporin A and by cyclophilin D ablation. J. Biol. Chem. 283, 26307-26311], the classical inhibitor of the permeability transition of yeast and (ii) that under proper experimental conditions a matrix Ca2+-dependence can be demonstrated in yeast as well [Yamada, A., Yamamoto, T., Yoshimura, Y., Gouda, S., Kawashima, S., Yamazaki, N., Yamashita, K., Kataoka, M., Nagata, T., Terada, H., Pfeiffer, D.R. and Shinohara Y. (2009) Ca2+-induced permeability transition can be observed even in yeast mitochondria under optimized experimental conditions. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1787, 1486-1491] suggest that the mitochondrial permeability transition has been conserved during evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2504-2509
Number of pages6
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcium
  • Cyclophilin
  • Cyclosporin
  • Mitochondria
  • Permeability transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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