Rat heart mitochondria became permeabilized to sucrose when incubated with 100 nmol of Ca2+/mg of protein in the presence of Pi. Ca2+ chelation with EGTA restored impermeability to sucrose, which became entrapped in the matrix space. t-Butylhydroperoxide markedly promoted permeabilization in the presence of Ca2+ but not in its absence, and Ca2+-plus-t-butylhydroperoxide-induced permeabilization was reversed by EGTA. The data suggest that Ca2+ and oxidative stress synergistically promote the reversible opening of an inner membrane pore.

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