Superoxides from mitochondrial complex III: the role of manganese superoxide dismutase Academic Article uri icon

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  • In this report we show that ubiquinone cytochrome c reductase (complex III) from isolated rat heart mitochondria when inhibited with antimycin A, produces a large amount of superoxide as measured by the chemiluminescent probe coelenterazine. When mitochondria are inhibited with myxothiazol or stigmatellin, there is no detectable formation of superoxide. The antimycin A-sensitive free radical production can be dramatically reduced using either myxothiazol or stigmatellin. This suggests that the antimycin A-sensitive generation of superoxides originates primarily from the Q(o) semiubiquinone. When manganese superoxide dismutase depleted submitochondrial particles (SMP) were inhibited with myxothiazol or stigmatellin, a large superoxide signal was observed. These two inhibitors likely increase the concentration of the Q(i) semiquinone at the N center. The antimycin A-sensitive signal can, in the case of both the mitochondria and the SMP, be dissipated by the addition of copper zinc superoxide dismutase, suggesting that the measured coelenterazine signal was a result of superoxide production. Taken together, this data suggests that free radicals generated from the Q(i) species are more effectively eliminated by MnSOD in intact mitochondria.


  • Raha, Sandeep
  • McEachern, Gillian E
  • Myint, A Tomoko
  • Robinson, Brian H

publication date

  • July 2000

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