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Oscillations of redox states in synchronously dividing cultures of Acanthamoeba castellanii and Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

By C L Bashford, B Chance, D Lloyd and R K Poole


The redox state of the mitochondria of Acanthamoeba castellanii and Schizosaccharomyces pombe was assessed with a flying-spot fluorometer (Chance et al. 1978. Am. J. Physiol. 235:H 809) that provides excitation appropriate for oxidized flavoprotein or reduced pyridine nucleotide. Fluorescence signals could be resolved from the thin films of cultures that were only one cell deep. In both organisms anoxia was associated with an increased pyridine nucleotide and decreased flavoprotein fluorescence. The addition of mitochondrial uncoupling agents increased the flavoprotein fluorescence and the fluorometer was able to resolve uncoupler-sensitive and uncoupler-insensitive fractions of S. pombe cultures. In both synchronous and asynchronous cultures of A. castellanii and S. pombe the mitochondrial redox state oscillates with a period of 4.5 +/- 1.0 min. Oscillations with much longer period, of the order of an hour, are observed in synchronous cultures and these oscillations correlate with similar oscillations in respiratory rate, uncoupler sensitivity, and adenine nucleotide pool sizes. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that synchronous cultures of A. castellanii and S. pombe oscillate between the ADP-limited (state 4) and ADP-sufficient (state 3) respiratory states, i.e., exhibit in vivo respiratory control

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