Binding of mitochondrial matrix cyclophilin (CyP) to the rat liver mitochondrial membranes was detected by SDS/PAGE and Western blotting with suitable antipeptide antibodies. Binding was not affected by prior exposure of mitochondria to Ca2+, adenine nucleotides or inhibitors of the adenine nucleotide translocase, but was greatly increased by t-butyl hydroperoxide (tBH), phenylarsine oxide or diamide. These all sensitized the opening of the non-specific mitochondrial pore to [Ca2+], and the effect of tBH was shown to be maintained after washing away the tBH, consistent with it being caused by the enhanced CyP binding. The bound CyP did not demonstrate peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase activity. CyP-binding was prevented by 5 microM cyclosporin A, but not reversed by cyclosporin treatment of the membranes. The effect of tBH on binding was concentration-dependent and maximal within 30 s.

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