Formation of high-conductive c subunit channels upon interaction with cyclophilin D

Giuseppe Federico Amodeo, Natalya Krilyuk, Evgeny V. Pavlov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The c subunit of the ATP synthase is an inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) protein. Besides its role as the main component of the rotor of the ATP synthase, c subunit from mammalian mitochondria exhibits ion channel activity. In particular, c subunit may be involved in one of the pathways leading to the formation of the permeability transition pore (PTP) during mitochondrial permeability transition (PT), a phenomenon consisting of the permeabilization of the IMM due to high levels of calcium. Our previous study on the synthetic c subunit showed that high concentrations of calcium induce misfolding into cross-β oligomers that form low-conductance channels in model lipid bilayers of about 400 pS. Here, we studied the effect of cyclophilin D (CypD), a mitochondrial chaperone and major regulator of PTP, on the electrophysiological activity of the c subunit to evaluate its role in the functional properties of c subunit. Our study shows that in presence of CypD, c subunit exhibits a larger conductance, up to 4 nS, that could be related to its potential role in mitochondrial toxicity. Further, our results suggest that CypD is necessary for the formation of c subunit induced PTP but may not be an integral part of the pore.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11022
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021


  • Amyloids
  • Misfolded proteins
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Permeability transition pore

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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