The surface charge of intact mitochondria and submitochondrial particles was examined by the technique of preparative free flow electrophoresis. When submitochondrial preparations obtained by a swelling-contraction procedure were examined with this technique, two fractions were observed. One of these fractions exhibited the same electrophoretic properties as intact mitochondria, which indicated that it was derived from the outer limiting membrane of the mitochondrion. This fraction was found to contain the enzymes monoamine oxidase and rotenone-insensitive NADH-cytochrome c reductase which have been reported to be localized in the outer mitochondrial membrane. The other fraction exhibited an electrophoretic mobility which was different from that of intact mitochondria, and this fraction contained enzymes characteristic of the inner membrane-matrix fraction such as soluble and particulate enzymes of the Krebs cycle. Microsomes exhibited an electrophoretic mobility which was almost identical with that of the outer mitochondrial membrane. In addition to resolving the localization of enzymes in mitochondrial membranes, these data indicate that the outer limiting membrane of the mitochondrion is the sole determinant of the surface charge of mitochondria.

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