Osmotically lysed rat liver mitochondria have been utilized for a study of the biochemical and ultrastructural properties in relation to divalent ion accumulation. Osmotic lysis of mitochondria by suspension and washing in cold, distilled water results in the extraction of about 50% of the mitochondrial protein, the loss of the outer mitochondrial membrane, an increase in respiration, and a marked decrease in the ability to catalyze oxidative phosphorylation. Nevertheless, except for a decrease in the ability to accumulate Sr2+ by an ATP-supported process, these lysed mitochondria retain full capacity to accumulate massive amounts of divalent cations by respiration-dependent and ATP-supported mechanisms. The decreased ability of osmotically lysed mitochondria to accumulate Sr2+ by an ATP-energized process does not appear to be due to a loss or inactivation of a specific Sr2+-activated ATPase. The energy-dependent accumulation processes in lysed mitochondria show an increased sensitivity to inhibition by monovalent cations. Extraction of cytochrome c from osmotically lysed mitochondria results in a complete loss of phosphorylation and the respiration-dependent accumulation of Ca2+; a lesser, but significant, decrease in the ATP-supported accumulation of Ca2+ also was observed. The addition of cytochrome c fully restores the respiration-dependent accumulation of Ca2+ to the level present in unextracted, osmotically lysed mitochondria. The ATP-supported process is not affected by the addition of cytochrome c to extracted mitochondria, indicating that cytochrome c is not involved in ion transport energized by ATP. The osmotically lysed mitochondria are devoid of outer membranes and contain relatively little matrix substance. The accumulation of Ca2+ and Pi by lysed mitochondria under massive loading conditions is accompanied by the formation of electron-opaque deposits within the lysed mitochondria associated with the inner membranes. This finding suggests that the inner membrane plays a role in the deposition of divalent ions within intact rat liver mitochondria. The relevance of these observations to those of other investigators is discussed.

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