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Cardiac ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) damages the electron transport chain (ETC), causing mitochondrial and cardiomyocyte injury. Reversible blockade of the ETC at complex I during ischemia protects the ETC and decreases cardiac injury. In the present study, we used an unbiased proteomic approach to analyze the extent of ETC-driven mitochondrial injury during I/R. Isolated-perfused mouse (C57BL/6) hearts underwent 25-min global ischemia (37°C) and 30-min reperfusion. In treated hearts, amobarbital (2 mM) was given for 1 min before ischemia to rapidly and reversibly block the ETC at complex I. Mitochondria were isolated at the end of reperfusion and subjected to unbiased proteomic analysis using tryptic digestion followed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry with isotope tags for relative and absolute quantification. Amobarbital treatment decreased cardiac injury and protected respiration. I/R decreased the content ( P < 0.05) of multiple mitochondrial matrix enzymes involved in intermediary metabolism compared with the time control. The contents of several enzymes in fatty acid oxidation were decreased compared with the time control. Blockade of ETC during ischemia largely prevented the decreases. Thus, after I/R, not only the ETC but also multiple pathways of intermediary metabolism sustain damage initiated by the ETC. If these damaged mitochondria persist in the myocyte, they remain a potent stimulus for ongoing injury and the transition to cardiomyopathy during prolonged reperfusion. Modulation of ETC function during early reperfusion is a key strategy to preserve mitochondrial metabolism and to decrease persistent mitochondria-driven injury during longer periods of reperfusion that predispose to ventricular dysfunction and heart failure. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) damages mitochondria, which could be protected by reversible blockade of the electron transport chain (ETC). Unbiased proteomics with isotope tags for relative and absolute quantification analyzed mitochondrial damage during I/R and found that multiple enzymes in the tricarboxylic acid cycle, fatty acid oxidation, and ETC decreased, which could be prevented by ETC blockade. Strategic ETC modulation can reduce mitochondrial damage and cardiac injury.


Qun Chen, Masood Younus, Jeremy Thompson, Ying Hu, John M Hollander, Edward J Lesnefsky. Intermediary metabolism and fatty acid oxidation: novel targets of electron transport chain-driven injury during ischemia and reperfusion. American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology. 2018 Apr 01;314(4):H787-H795

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PMID: 29351463

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