H+ transport is an integral function of the mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier

Ambre M. Bertholet, Edward T. Chouchani, Lawrence Kazak, Alessia Angelin, Andriy Fedorenko, Jonathan Z. Long, Sara Vidoni, Ryan Garrity, Joonseok Cho, Naohiro Terada, Douglas C. Wallace, Bruce M. Spiegelman, Yuriy Kirichok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


The mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier (AAC) is a major transport protein of the inner mitochondrial membrane. It exchanges mitochondrial ATP for cytosolic ADP and controls cellular production of ATP. In addition, it has been proposed that AAC mediates mitochondrial uncoupling, but it has proven difficult to demonstrate this function or to elucidate its mechanisms. Here we record AAC currents directly from inner mitochondrial membranes from various mouse tissues and identify two distinct transport modes: ADP/ATP exchange and H+ transport. The AAC-mediated H+ current requires free fatty acids and resembles the H+ leak via the thermogenic uncoupling protein 1 found in brown fat. The ADP/ATP exchange via AAC negatively regulates the H+ leak, but does not completely inhibit it. This suggests that the H+ leak and mitochondrial uncoupling could be dynamically controlled by cellular ATP demand and the rate of ADP/ATP exchange. By mediating two distinct transport modes, ADP/ATP exchange and H+ leak, AAC connects coupled (ATP production) and uncoupled (thermogenesis) energy conversion in mitochondria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-520
Number of pages6
Issue number7766
StatePublished - Jul 25 2019


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