1. Effects of α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate and α-cyanocinnamate on a number of enzymes involved in pyruvate metabolism have been investigated. Little or no inhibition was observed of any enzyme at concentrations that inhibit completely mitochondrial pyruvate transport. At much higher concentrations (1 mM) some inhibition of pyruvate carboxylase was apparent. 2. α-Cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate (1-100 muM) specifically inhibited pyruvate oxidation by mitochondria isolated from rat heart, brain, kidney and from blowfly flight muscle; oxidation of other substrates in the presence or absence of ADP was not affected. Similar concentrations of the compound also inhibited the carboxylation of pyruvate by rat liver mitochondria and the activation by pyruvate of pyruvate dehydrogenase in fat-cell mitochondria. These findings imply that pyruvate dehydrogenase, pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase and pyruvate carboxylase are exposed to mitochondrial matrix concentrations of pyruvate rather than to cytoplasmic concentrations. 3. Studies with whole-cell preparations incubated in vitro indicate that α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate or α-cyanocinnamate (at concentrations below 200 muM) can be used to specifically inhibit mitochondrial pyruvate transport within cells and thus alter the metabolic emphasis of the preparation. In epididymal fat-pads, fatty acid synthesis from glucose and fructose, but not from acetate, was markedly inhibited. No changes in tissue ATP concentrations were observed. The effects on fatty acid synthesis were reversible. In kidney-cortex slices, gluconeogenesis from pyruvate and lactate but not from succinate was inhibited. In the rat heart perfused with medium containing glucose and insulin, addition of α-cyanocinnamate (200 muM) greatly increased the output and tissue concentrations of lactate plus pyruvate but decreased the lactate/pyruvate ratio. 4. The inhibition by cyanocinnamate derivatives of pyruvate transport across the cell membrane of human erythrocytes requires much higher concentrations of the derivatives than the inhibition of transport across the mitochondrial membrane. α-Cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate appears to enter erythrocytes on the cell-membrane pyruvate carrier. Entry is not observed in the presence of albumin, which may explain the small effects when these compounds are injected into whole animals.
The specificity and metabolic implications of the inhibition of pyruvate transport in isolated mitochondria and intact tissue preparations by α-Cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate and related compounds
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A P Halestrap, R M Denton; The specificity and metabolic implications of the inhibition of pyruvate transport in isolated mitochondria and intact tissue preparations by α-Cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate and related compounds. Biochem J 1 April 1975; 148 (1): 97–106. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/bj1480097
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