1. The synthesis of dibutylchloromethyltin chloride, a new covalent inhibitor of the mitochondrial ATP synthase [oligomycin-sensitive ATPase (adenosine triphosphatase)] complex is described, together with a method for preparing dibutylchloro[3H]methyltin chloride. 2. Studies with the yeast mitochondrial oligomycin-sensitive ATPase complex show that dibutylchloromethyltin chloride inhibits both the membrane-bound enzyme and also the purified Triton X-100-dispersed preparation. 3. F1-ATPase is not inhibited even at 500nmol of dibutylchloromethyltin chloride/mg of protein, and the general inhibitory properties are similar to those of triethyltin, oligomycin and dicyclohexylcarbodi-imide, known energy-transfer inhibitors of oxidative phosphorylation. 4. Binding studies with yeast submitochondrial particles show that dibutylchloromethyltin chloride antagonizes the binding of triethyl[113Sn]tin, indicating that there is an interaction between the two inhibitor-binding sites. 5. Unlike triethyltin, inhibition by dibutylchloromethyltin chloride is due to a covalent interaction which titrates a component of the inner mitochondrial membrane present at a concentration of 8–9nmol/mg of protein. 6. All of the labelled component can be extracted with chloroform/methanol (2:1, v/v), and sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis of the chloroform/methanol extract indicates that the labelled component has an apparent mol.wt. of 6000–8000. However, t.l.c. reveals the presence of only one labelled component which is lipophilic and non-protein and is distinct from the free inhibitor, mitochondrial phospholipids and the dicyclohexylcarbodi-imide-binding protein (subunit 9). 7. Inhibition of mitochondrial ATPase and oxidative phosphorylation is correlated with specific interaction with a non-protein lipophilic component of the mitochondrial inner membrane which is proposed to be a co-factor or intermediate of oxidative phosphorylation.

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