Oligomycin-resistant clones were isolated from Chinese hamster ovary cells by treatment of cells with ethidium bromide, followed by mutagenesis with ethylmethane sulfonate and selection in oligomycin. One clone (Olir 8.1) was chosen for further study. Olir 8.1 cells grow with doubling time similar to that of wild-type cells, whether grown in the presence or absence of drug (doubling time of 13-14 h). In plating efficiency experiments, Olir 8.1 cells are approximately 100-fold more resistant to oligomycin than are wild-type cells. There is approximately a 32-fold increase in the resistance to inhibition by oligomycin of the mitochondrial ATPase from Olir 8.1 cells. The electron transport chain is functional in Olir 8.1 cells. Oligomycin resistance is stable in the absence of selective pressure. There is little or no cross-resistance of Olir 8.1 cells to venturicidin and dicyclohexylcarbodiimide, other inhibitors of the mitochondrial ATPase, or to chloramphenicol, an inhibitor of mitochondrial protein synthesis. Oligomycin resistance is dominant in hybrids between Olir 8.1 cells and wild-type cells. Fusions of enucleated Olir 8.1 cells with sensitive cells and characterization of the resulting "cybrid" clones indicates that oligomycin resistance in Olir 8.1 cells is cytoplasmically inherited.

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