Properties of channels in the mitochondrial outer membrane

Henry Tedeschi, Kathleen W. Kinnally, Carmen A. Mannella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patch-clamping studies with native outer mitochondrial membranes show a complex behavior. In the range of potentials in which the polarity of the pipette is positive, the behavior resembles that of VDAC incorporated into bilayers. Accordingly, there is a decrease in conductance with voltage. An involvement of VDAC is also supported by responses of the patches to the presence of polyanion or treatment with succinic anhydride, both of which affect VDAC. In contrast, in the negative range of potential, the conductance of the patches generally increases with the magnitude of the voltage. The increase in conductance shows a biphasic time course which is consistent with a model in which channels are first activated (first phase) and then assembled into larger high-conductance channels (second phase). A variety of experiments support the notion that an assembly takes place. The time course of the conductance increase is consistent with formation of the second-phase channels from 6±1 subunits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-459
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1989


  • Mitochondrial outer membrane
  • mitochondrial channels
  • patch clamping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology

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