Yeast mitoplasts (mitochondria with the outer membrane stripped away) exhibit multiple conductance channel activity (MCC) in patch-clamp experiments that is very similar to the activity previously described in mammalian mitoplasts. The possible involvement of the voltage-dependent anion-selective channel (VDAC) of the outer membrane in MCC activity was explored by comparing the channel activity in wild-type yeast mitoplasts with that of a VDAC-deletion mutant. The channel activity recorded from the mutant is essentially the same as that of the wild-type in the voltage range of -40 to 30 mV. These observations indicate that VDAC is not required for MCC activity. Interestingly, the channel activity of the VDAC-less yeast mitoplasts exhibits altered gating properties at transmembrane potentials above and below this range. We conclude that the deletion of VDAC somehow results in a modification of MCC's voltage dependence. In fact, the voltage profile recorded from the VDAC-less mutant resembles that of VDAC.
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