Skip to main content

The Adenine Nucleotide Translocase: A Central Component of the Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore and Key Player in Cell Death

Buy Article:

$63.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


In addition to its normal function, the adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT) forms the inner membrane channel of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP). Binding of cyclophilin-D (CyPD) to its matrix surface (probably on Pro61 on loop 1) facilitates a calcium-triggered conformational change converting it from a specific transporter to a non-specific pore. The voltage dependent anion channel (VDAC) binds to the outer face of the ANT, at contact sites between the inner and outer membranes, and together VDAC, ANT and CyP-D probably represent the minimum MPTP configuration. The evidence for this is critically reviewed as is the structure and molecular mechanism of the carrier in its normal physiological mode. This provides helpful insights into MPTP regulation by adenine nucleotides, membrane potential and ANT ligands such as carboxyatractyloside and bongkrekic acid. Oxidative stress activates the MPTP by glutathionemediated cross-linking of Cys159 and Cys256 on matrix-facing loops of the ANT that inhibits ADP binding and enhances CyP-D binding. Molecular modeling of the loop containing the ADP binding site suggests an arrangement of aspartate and glutamate residues that may provide a calcium binding site. There are other proteins that may bind to the ANT, modulating MPTP opening and hence cell death. These included members of the Bax / Bcl-2 family (both oncoproteins and tumor suppressors) and viral proteins. Vpr from HIV-1 can bind to ANT and convert it into a pro-apoptotic pore, whereas vMIA from cytomegalovirus interacts to inhibit opening. Thus the ANT may provide a molecular link between physiopathological mechanisms of infection and the regulation of MPTP function and so represents a potential therapeutic target.

Keywords: apoptosis; bax/bcl-2 family; bongkrekic acid; carboxyatractyloside; cyclophilin; oxidative stress; viral infection; voltage dependent anion channel

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: Department of Biochemistry, School of Medical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TD, UK.

Publication date: 2003-08-01

More about this publication?
  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more