Mitochondrial matrix pH controls oxidative phosphorylation and metabolism-secretion coupling in INS-1E clonal β cells

Dmitry Akhmedov, Matthias Braun, Chikage Mataki, Kyu Sang Park, Tullio Pozzan, Kristina Schoonjans, Patrik Rorsman, Claes B. Wollheim, Andreas Wiederkehr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Glucose-evoked mitochondrial signals augment ATP synthesis in the pancreatic β cell. This activation of energy metabolism increases the cytosolic ATP/ADP ratio, which stimulates plasma membrane electrical activity and insulin granule exocytosis. We have recently demonstrated that matrix pH increases during nutrient stimulation of the pancreatic β cell. Here, we have tested whether mitochondrial matrix pH controls oxidative phosphorylation and metabolismsecretion coupling in the rat β-cell line INS-1E. Acidi-fication of the mitochondrial matrix pH by nigericin blunted nutrient-dependent respiratory and ATP responses (continuously monitored in intact cells). Using electrophysiology and single cell imaging, we find that the associated defects in energy metabolism suppress glucose-stimulated plasma membrane electrical activity and cytosolic calcium transients. The same parameters were unaffected after direct stimulation of electrical activity with tolbutamide, which bypasses mitochondrial function. Furthermore, lowered matrix pH strongly inhibited sustained, but not first-phase, insulin secretion. Our results demonstrate that the matrix pH exerts a control function on oxidative phosphorylation in intact cells and that this mode of regulation is of physiological relevance for the generation of downstream signals leading to insulin granule exocytosis. We propose that matrix pH serves a novel signaling role in sustained cell activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4613-4626
Number of pages14
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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