Calcium transport in bovine sperm mitochondria: effect of substrates and phosphate

Haim Breitbart, Robert Wehbie, Henry A. Lardy

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13 Scopus citations


Calcium uptake into filipin-treated bovine spermatozoa is completely inhibited by the uncoupler CCCP or by ruthenium red. Both Pi and mitochondrial substrates are required to obtain the maximal rate of calcium uptake into the sperm mitochondria. Bicarbonate and other anions such as lactate, acetate or β-hydroxybutyrate do not support a high rate of calcium uptake. There are significant differences among various mitochondrial substrates in supporting calcium uptake. The best substrates are durohydroquinone, α-glycerophosphate and lactate. Pyruvate is a relatively poor substrate, and its rate can be greatly enhanced by malate or succinate but not by oxalacetate or lactate. This stimulation is blocked by the dicarboxylate translocase inhibitor, butylmalonate and can be mimiced by the non-metabolized substrate d-malate. The Ka for pyruvate was found to be 17 μM and 67 μM in the presence and absence of l-malate, respectively. The Ka for l-malate is 0.12 mM. It is suggested that in addition to the known pyruvate/lactate translocase there is a second translocase for pyruvate which is malate/succinate-dependent and does not transport lactate. In the presence of succinate, glutamate stimulates calcium uptake 3-fold, and this effect is not inhibited by rotenone. In the presence of glutamate plus malate or oxalacetate there is only an additive effect. It is suggested that glutamate stimulates succinate transport and/or oxidation in bovine sperm mitochondria. The α-hydroxybutyrate is almost as good as lactate in supporting calcium uptake. Since the α-keto product is not further metabolized in the citric acid cycle, it is suggested that lactate can supply the mitochondrial needs for NADH from its oxidation to pyruvate by the sperm lactate dehydrogenase x. Thus, when there is sufficient lactate in the sperm mitochondria, pyruvate need not be further metabolized in the citric acid cycle in order to supply more NADH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-63
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes
Issue number1
StatePublished - 9 Jul 1990


  • (Bovine sperm)
  • Calcium ion transport
  • Mitochondrion


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