Gnaiger 2000 Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

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Gnaiger E, Méndez G, Hand SC (2000) High phosphorylation efficiency and depression of uncoupled respiration in mitochondria under hypoxia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 97:11080-5.

» PMID: 11005877 Open Access

Gnaiger Erich, Mendez Gabriela, Hand Steven C (2000) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Abstract: Mitochondria are confronted with low oxygen levels in the microenvironment within tissues; yet, isolated mitochondria are routinely studied under air-saturated conditions that are effectively hyperoxic, increase oxidative stress, and may impair mitochondrial function. Under hypoxia, on the other hand, respiration and ATP supply are restricted. Under these conditions of oxygen limitation, any compromise in the coupling of oxidative phosphorylation to oxygen consumption could accentuate ATP depletion, leading to metabolic failure. To address this issue, we have developed the approach of oxygen-injection microcalorimetry and ADP-injection respirometry for evaluating mitochondrial function at limiting oxygen supply. Whereas phosphorylation efficiency drops during ADP limitation at high oxygen levels, we show here that oxidative phosphorylation is more efficient at low oxygen than at air saturation, as indicated by higher ratios of ADP flux to total oxygen flux at identical submaximal rates of ATP synthesis. At low oxygen, the proton leak and uncoupled respiration are depressed, thus reducing maintenance energy expenditure. This indicates the importance of low intracellular oxygen levels in avoiding oxidative stress and protecting bioenergetic efficiency.


O2k-Network Lab: AT Innsbruck Oroboros, AT Innsbruck Gnaiger E, US LA Baton Rouge Hand SC

Selected quotes

  • Atmospheric oxygen levels were probably 0.1 % of the present when mitochondria became associated with cells early during evolution (1-4). Such low-oxygen conditions persist in extreme environments (5-8), and oxygen pessures as low as 0.3-0.4 kPa (2-3 mmHg) are observed in the intracellular microenvironment of mitochondria in tissues under normoxia (9-13). Even so, in typical studies with isolated mitochondria, these organelles are artificially exposed to the high partial pressure of oxygen at air saturation (c. 20 kPa), despite the fact that this condition is effectively hyperoxic, rarely physiological and increases oxidative stress (14, 15).
  • From the present study, it can be inferred that air-saturation as a reference condition is questionable for evaluating mitochondrial efficiency. If representative measures of performance are to be obtained for mitochondria and even cultured cells (42, 44), then oxygen tension should be shifted away from these non-physiological levels to minimize the risk of oxidative stress.
  • Furthermore, the high efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation at low oxygen emphasizes that even trace amounts of oxygen can make a vital energetic contribution when ATP limitation threatens cellular survival under severe hypoxia encountered at high altitude, in aquatic habitats, and during pathological states of ischemia.


Further details

  • Gnaiger E (2001) Bioenergetics at low oxygen: dependence of respiration and phosphorylation on oxygen and adenosine diphosphate supply. Respir Physiol 128:277-97. - »Bioblast link«
» OXPHOS-coupling efficiency
» ETS coupling efficiency


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TermAbbreviationDescription
AerobicoxThe aerobic state of metabolism is defined by the presence of oxygen (air) and therefore the potential for oxidative reactions (ox) to proceed, particularly in oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Aerobic metabolism (with involvement of oxygen) is contrasted with anaerobic metabolism (without involvement of oxygen): Whereas anaerobic metabolism may proceed in the absence or presence of oxygen (anoxic or oxic conditions), aerobic metabolism is restricted to oxic conditions. Below the critical oxygen pressure, aerobic ATP production decreases.
AnaerobicAnaerobic metabolism takes place without the use of molecular oxygen, in contrast to aerobic metabolism. The capacity for energy assimilation and growth under anoxic conditions is the ultimate criterion for facultative anaerobiosis. Anaerobic metabolism may proceed not only under anoxic conditions or states, but also under hyperoxic and normoxic conditions (aerobic glycolysis), and under hypoxic and microxic conditions below the limiting oxygen pressure.
AnoxicanoxIdeally the term anoxic (anox, without oxygen) should be restricted to conditions where molecular oxygen is strictly absent. Practically, effective anoxia is obtained when a further decrease of experimental oxygen levels does not elicit any physiological or biochemical response. The practical definition, therefore, depends on (i) the techiques applied for oxygen removal and minimizing oxygen diffusion into the experimental system, (ii) the sensitivity and limit of detection of analytical methods of measuring oxygen (O2 concentration in the nM range), and (iii) the types of diagnostic tests applied to evaluate effects of trace amounts of oxygen on physiological and biochemical processes. The difficulties involved in defining an absolute limit between anoxic and microxic conditions are best illustrated by a logarithmic scale of oxygen pressure or oxygen concentration. In the anoxic state (State 5), any aerobic type of metabolism cannot take place, whereas anaerobic metabolism may proceed under oxic or anoxic conditions.
Critical oxygen pressurepcThe critical oxygen pressure, pc, is defined as the partial oxygen pressure, pO2, below which aerobic catabolism (respiration or oxygen consumption) declines significantly. If anaerobic catabolism is activated simultaneously to compensate for lower aerobic ATP generation, then the limiting oxygen pressure, pl, is equal to the pc. In many cases, however, the pl is substantially lower than the pc.
HyperoxichyperoxHyperoxia is defined as environmental oxygen pressure above the normoxic reference level. Cellular and intracellular hyperoxia is imposed on isolated cells and isolated mitochondria at air-level oxygen pressures which are higher compared to cellular and intracellular oxygen pressures under tissue conditions in vivo. Hyperoxic conditions may impose oxidative stress and may increase maximum aerobic performance.
HypoxichypoxHypoxia (hypox) is defined as the state when insufficient O2 is available for respiration. This definition of hypoxia based on respiratory physiology is compared to environmental hypoxia defined as environmental oxygen pressures below the normoxic reference level.
Intracellular oxygenpO2,iPhysiological, intracellular oxygen pressure is significantly lower than air saturation under normoxia, hence respiratory measurements carried out at air saturation are effectively hyperoxic for cultured cells and isolated mitochondria.
Limiting oxygen pressureplThe limiting oxygen pressure, pl, is defined as the partial oxygen pressure, pO2, below which anaerobic catabolism is activated to contribute to total ATP generation. The limiting oxygen pressure, pl, may be substantially lower than the critical oxygen pressure, pc, below which aerobic catabolism (respiration or oxygen consumption) declines significantly.
MicroxicmicroxMicroxic conditions (deep hypoxia) are obtained when trace amounts of O2 exert a stimulatory effect on respiration above the level where metabolism is switched to a purely anaerobic mode.
NormoxicnormoxNormoxia is a reference state, frequently considered as air-level oxygen pressure at sea level (c. 20 kPa in water vapor saturated air) as environmental normoxia. Intracellular tissue normoxia is variable between organisms and tissues, and intracellular oxygen pressure is frequently well below air-level pO2 as a result of cellular (mainly mitochondrial) oxygen consumption and oxygen gradients along the respiratory cascade. Oxygen pressure drops from ambient normoxia of 20 kPa to alveolar normoxia of 13 kPa, while extracellular normoxia may be as low as 1 to 5 kPa in solid organs such as heart, brain, kidney and liver. Pericellular pO2 of cells growing in monolayer cell cultures may be hypoxic compared to tissue normoxia when grown in ambient normoxia (95 % air and 5 % CO2) and a high layer of culture medium causing oxygen diffusion limitation at high respiratory activity, but pericellular pO2 may be effectively hyperoxic in cells with low respiratory rate with a thin layer of culture medium (<2 mm). Intracellular oxygen levels in well-stirred suspended small cells (5 - 7 mm diameter; endothelial cells, fibroblasts) are close to ambient pO2 of the incubation medium, such that matching the experimental intracellular pO2 to the level of intracellular tissue normoxia requires lowering the ambient pO2 of the medium to avoid hyperoxia.
General
» Oxygen, dioxygen, O2
» Intracellular oxygen
» Oxygen pressure
» Oxygen solubility
» Gas pressure
» pascal
» Pressure
» Barometric pressure
» Concentration
Related keyword lists
» Keywords: Oxygen signal
» Keywords: Concentration and pressure

Publications: Tissue normoxia

 YearReferenceOrganismTissue;cellPreparationsStressDiseases
Stepanova 2020 Methods Cell Biol2020Stepanova A, Galkin A (2020) Measurement of mitochondrial H2O2 production under varying O2 tensions. Methods Cell Biol 155:273-93.MouseNervous systemIsolated mitochondriaOxidative stress;RONS
Ast 2019 Nat Metab2019Ast T, Mootha VK (2019) Oxygen and mammalian cell culture: are we repeating the experiment of Dr. Ox?. Nat Metab 1:858-860.
Keeley 2019 Physiol Rev2019Keeley TP, Mann GE (2019) Defining Physiological Normoxia for Improved Translation of Cell Physiology to Animal Models and Humans. Physiol Rev 99:161-234.
Stepanova 2018 J Neurochem2018Stepanova A, Konrad C, Manfredi G, Springett R, Ten V, Galkin A (2018) The dependence of brain mitochondria reactive oxygen species production on oxygen level is linear, except when inhibited by antimycin A. J Neurochem 148:731-45.MouseNervous systemIsolated mitochondriaIschemia-reperfusion
Oxidative stress;RONS
Stepanova 2018 J Cereb Blood Flow Metab2018Stepanova A, Konrad C, Guerrero-Castillo S, Manfredi G, Vannucci S, Arnold S, Galkin A (2018) Deactivation of mitochondrial complex I after hypoxia-ischemia in the immature brain. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 39:1790-802.RatNervous systemIsolated mitochondriaHypoxia
Ischemia-reperfusion
Stuart 2018 Oxid Med Cell Longev2018Stuart JA, Fonseca JF, Moradi F, Cunningham C, Seliman B, Worsfold CR, Dolan S, Abando J, Maddalena LA (2018) How Supraphysiological Oxygen Levels in Standard Cell Culture Affect Oxygen-Consuming Reactions. Oxid Med Cell Longev 2018:8238459.
Stepanova 2017 J Cereb Blood Flow Metab2017Stepanova A, Kahl A, Konrad C, Ten V, Starkov AS, Galkin A (2017) Reverse electron transfer results in a loss of flavin from mitochondrial complex I: Potential mechanism for brain ischemia-reperfusion injury. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 37:3649-58.MouseNervous systemIsolated mitochondriaIschemia-reperfusion
Harrison 2015 J Appl Physiol2015Harrison DK, Fasching M, Fontana-Ayoub M, Gnaiger E (2015) Cytochrome redox states and respiratory control in mouse and beef heart mitochondria at steady-state levels of hypoxia. J Appl Physiol 119:1210-8.Mouse
Bovines
HeartIsolated mitochondriaHypoxia
Carreau 2011 J Cell Mol Med2011Carreau A, El Hafny-Rahbi B, Matejuk A, Grillon C, Kieda C (2011) Why is the partial oxygen pressure of human tissues a crucial parameter? Small molecules and hypoxia. J Cell Mol Med 15:1239-53.
Aragones 2009 Cell Metab2009Aragones J, Fraisl P, Baes M, Carmeliet P (2009) Oxygen sensors at the crossroad of metabolism. Cell Metab 9:11-22.
Pettersen 2005 Cell Prolif2005Pettersen EO, Larsen LH, Ramsing NB, Ebbesen P (2005) Pericellular oxygen depletion during ordinary tissue culturing, measured with oxygen microsensors. Cell Prolif 38:257-67.
Gnaiger 2003 Adv Exp Med Biol2003Gnaiger E (2003) Oxygen conformance of cellular respiration. A perspective of mitochondrial physiology. Adv Exp Med Biol 543:39-55.Human
Rat
Heart
Liver
Endothelial;epithelial;mesothelial cell
Fibroblast
Intact cells
Permeabilized cells
Permeabilized tissue
Isolated mitochondria
Oxidase;biochemical oxidation
Gnaiger 2001 Respir Physiol2001Gnaiger E (2001) Bioenergetics at low oxygen: dependence of respiration and phosphorylation on oxygen and adenosine diphosphate supply. Respir Physiol 128:277-97.Human
Rat
Heart
Liver
Endothelial;epithelial;mesothelial cell
HUVEC
Intact cells
Isolated mitochondria
Oxidative stress;RONS
Gnaiger 2000 Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A2000Gnaiger E, Méndez G, Hand SC (2000) High phosphorylation efficiency and depression of uncoupled respiration in mitochondria under hypoxia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 97:11080-5.Rat
Artemia
Crustaceans
LiverIsolated mitochondria
Gnaiger 1998 J Exp Biol1998Gnaiger E, Lassnig B, Kuznetsov AV, Rieger G, Margreiter R (1998) Mitochondrial oxygen affinity, respiratory flux control, and excess capacity of cytochrome c oxidase. J Exp Biol 201:1129-39.Human
Rat
Heart
Liver
Endothelial;epithelial;mesothelial cell
HUVEC
Isolated mitochondria
Enzyme
Oxidase;biochemical oxidation
Intact cells
Gnaiger 1998 Biochim Biophys Acta1998Gnaiger E, Lassnig B, Kuznetsov AV, Margreiter R (1998) Mitochondrial respiration in the low oxygen environment of the cell: Effect of ADP on oxygen kinetics. Biochim Biophys Acta 1365:249-54.RatHeart
Liver
Isolated mitochondria
Gnaiger 1995 J Bioenerg Biomembr1995Gnaiger E, Steinlechner-Maran R, Méndez G, Eberl T, Margreiter R (1995) Control of mitochondrial and cellular respiration by oxygen. J Bioenerg Biomembr 27:583-96.Human
Rat
Liver
Endothelial;epithelial;mesothelial cell
HUVEC
Isolated mitochondria
Intact cells
Gnaiger 1993 Transitions1993Gnaiger E (1993) Homeostatic and microxic regulation of respiration in transitions to anaerobic metabolism. In: The vertebrate gas transport cascade: Adaptations to environment and mode of life. Bicudo JEPW (ed), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Ann Arbor, London, Tokyo:358-70.Reptiles
Fishes
Crustaceans
Annelids
Intact organism
Gnaiger 1991 Soc Exp Biol Seminar Series1991Gnaiger E (1991) Animal energetics at very low oxygen: Information from calorimetry and respirometry. In: Strategies for gas exchange and metabolism. Woakes R, Grieshaber M, Bridges CR (eds), Soc Exp Biol Seminar Series 44, Cambridge Univ Press, London:149-71.AnnelidsIntact organism
Gnaiger 1983 J Exp Zool1983Gnaiger E (1983) Heat dissipation and energetic efficiency in animal anoxibiosis. Economy contra power. J Exp Zool 228:471-90.Annelids
Molluscs
Skeletal muscleIntact organism
Abstracts: Tissue normoxia
 YearReferenceOrganismTissue;cellPreparationsStressDiseases
Gnaiger 2018 AussieMit2018Komlodi Timea, Sobotka Ondrej, Doerrier Carolina, Gnaiger Erich (2018) Mitochondrial H2O2 production is low under tissue normoxia but high at in-vitro air-level oxygen pressure - comparison of LEAK and OXPHOS states. AussieMit 2018 Melbourne AU.Mouse
Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Heart
Nervous system
Isolated mitochondria
Intact cells
Oxidative stress;RONS
Hypoxia
Sobotka 2018 MiP20182018
Ondrej Sobotka
Measurement of ROS production under hypoxia and unexpected methodological pitfalls of Amplex UltraRed assay.
Mouse
Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Heart
Nervous system
Isolated mitochondriaHypoxia
Komlodi 2017 MiP20172017
Timea Komlodi
H2O2 production under hypoxia in brain and heart mitochondria: does O2 concentration matter?
MouseHeart
Nervous system
Isolated mitochondriaOxidative stress;RONS
Hypoxia


Cited by

  • Cardoso et al (2021) Magnesium Green for fluorometric measurement of ATP production does not interfere with mitochondrial respiration. MitoFit Preprints 2021.1. doi:10.26124/mitofit:2021-0001
Gnaiger 2020 BEC MitoPathways


Gnaiger E (2020) Mitochondrial pathways and respiratory control. An introduction to OXPHOS analysis. 5th ed. Bioenerg Commun 2020.2:112 pp. doi:10.26124/bec:2020-0002
Gnaiger Erich et al ― MitoEAGLE Task Group (2020) Mitochondrial physiology. Bioenerg Commun 2020.1.


Gnaiger E et al ― MitoEAGLE Task Group (2020) Mitochondrial physiology. Bioenerg Commun 2020.1. doi:10.26124/bec:2020-0001.v1.


Labels: MiParea: Respiration, mt-Biogenesis;mt-density, mt-Structure;fission;fusion, Comparative MiP;environmental MiP, Developmental biology 


Organism: Rat, Artemia, Crustaceans  Tissue;cell: Liver  Preparation: Isolated mitochondria 

Regulation: ADP, ATP, Coupling efficiency;uncoupling, Oxygen kinetics  Coupling state: LEAK, OXPHOS  Pathway:HRR: Oxygraph-2k, TIP2k 

Tissue normoxia, ATP, Steady state, BEC 2020.1, BEC 2020.2, MitoFit 2021 MgG