Mitochondrial ATP synthase c-subunit leak channel triggers cell death upon loss of its F1 subcomplex

Nelli Mnatsakanyan, Han A. Park, Jing Wu, Xiang He, Marc C. Llaguno, Maria Latta, Paige Miranda, Besnik Murtishi, Morven Graham, Joachim Weber, Richard J. Levy, Evgeny V. Pavlov, Elizabeth A. Jonas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Mitochondrial ATP synthase is vital not only for cellular energy production but also for energy dissipation and cell death. ATP synthase c-ring was suggested to house the leak channel of mitochondrial permeability transition (mPT), which activates during excitotoxic ischemic insult. In this present study, we purified human c-ring from both eukaryotic and prokaryotic hosts to biophysically characterize its channel activity. We show that purified c-ring forms a large multi-conductance, voltage-gated ion channel that is inhibited by the addition of ATP synthase F1 subcomplex. In contrast, dissociation of F1 from FO occurs during excitotoxic neuronal death suggesting that the F1 constitutes the gate of the channel. mPT is known to dissipate the osmotic gradient across the inner membrane during cell death. We show that ATP synthase c-subunit knock down (KD) prevents the osmotic change in response to high calcium and eliminates large conductance, Ca2+ and CsA sensitive channel activity of mPT. These findings elucidate the gating mechanism of the ATP synthase c-subunit leak channel (ACLC) and suggest how ACLC opening is regulated by cell stress in a CypD-dependent manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1874-1887
Number of pages14
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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