The isolation and partial characterization of subcellular particles from rabbit and rat lung are described. Detailed methods for separating a purified, active mitochondrial fraction are outlined and evaluated in terms of enzymatic, chemical, and morphological criteria. Mitochondrial preparations from rabbit and rat liver were used as comparative indices. The lung mitochondrial fraction was identified by its ability to oxidize succinate with a P/O ratio of 1.7 by a process sensitive to 2,4 dinitrophenol and antimycin A. The adenosine triphosphatase activity of the lung mitochondrial fraction is stimulated by magnesium ions, but this stimulation is not augmented by 2,4 dinitrophenol. In the absence of magnesium ions, the specific activity of the adenosine triphosphatase increases with increasing protein concentration. The presence of lysosomes in the mitochondrial fraction is suggested by acid phosphatase and cathepsin activities and by electron microscope observations.

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