Wei, Y; Lu, C; Lin, T; Wei, R
The in vitro effects of ochratoxin A on the membrane structure and bioenergetic functions of rat liver mitochondria were studied. It was found that when the toxin was added to the assay medium the respiratory control of the isolated mitochondria was decreased as the concentration of the toxin increased. The mitochondrial respiration was gradually uncoupled by the toxin when its concentration was raised above 1.2 × 10−6 M, and became fully uncoupled at 6.2 × 10−4 M. The oxidative phosphorylation was not damaged until the toxin concentration was higher than 9.3 × 10−5 M. On the other hand, ochratoxin A inhibited the electron transfer functions of the mitochondria. At the concentration above 1.0 × 10−4 M, ochratoxin A inhibited the succinate dehydrogenase, succinate-cytochrome c reductase, and succinate oxidase activities of the respiratory chain. Fifty percent of succinate-cytochrome c reductase and succinate oxidase activity was lost in the presence of 8.0 × 10−4 and 6.2 × 10−4 M ochratoxin A, respectively. The inhibition kinetic studies revealed that ochratoxin A is an uncompetitive inhibitor of both succinate-cytochrome c reductase and succinate dehydrogenase, and the inhibition constants for the 2 enzyme activities were estimated to be 4.4 × 10−4 and 2.2 × 10−4 M, respectively. However, the toxin did not inhibit either cytochrome oxidase or NADH dehydrogenase activity of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. It is thus concluded that ochratoxin A exerts its effect on the mitochondrial respiration and oxidative phosphorylation through the impairment of the mitochondrial membrane and inhibition of the succinate-supported electron transfer activities of the respiratory chain.