The effect of the local anaesthetic, butacaine, on adenine nucleotide binding and translocation in rat liver mitochondria partially depleted of their adenine nucleotide content was investigated. The range of butacaine concentrations that inhibit adenine nucleotide translocation and the extent of the inhibition are similar to the values obtained for native mitochondria. Butacaine does not alter either the total number of atractyloside-sensitive binding sites of depleted mitochondria, or the affinity of these sites for ADP or ATP under conditions where a partial inhibition of the rate of adenine nucleotide translocation is observed. The data are consistent with an effect of butacaine on the process by which adenine nucleotides are transported across the mitochondrial inner membrane rather than on the binding of adenine nucleotides to sites on the adenine nucleotide carrier. The results are briefly discussed in relation to the use of local anaesthetics in investigations of the mechanism of adenine nucleotide translocation.

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