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Key Event Title
Decrease, Coupling of oxidative phosphorylation
|Level of Biological Organization|
Key Event Components
|oxidative phosphorylation uncoupler activity||mitochondrion||increased|
|regulation of mitochondrial membrane potential||mitochondrion||decreased|
Key Event Overview
AOPs Including This Key Event
|AOP Name||Role of event in AOP||Point of Contact||Author Status||OECD Status|
|Uncoupling of OXPHOS leading to growth inhibition 5||MolecularInitiatingEvent||You Song (send email)||Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite||Under Development|
|Uncoupling of OXPHOS leading to growth inhibition 1||MolecularInitiatingEvent||You Song (send email)||Open for comment. Do not cite||EAGMST Under Review|
|Uncoupling of OXPHOS leading to growth inhibition 2||MolecularInitiatingEvent||You Song (send email)||Open for citation & comment||Under Development|
|Uncoupling of OXPHOS leading to growth inhibition 3||MolecularInitiatingEvent||You Song (send email)||Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite||Under Development|
|Uncoupling of OXPHOS leading to growth inhibition 4||MolecularInitiatingEvent||You Song (send email)||Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite||Under Development|
|Uncoupling of OXPHOS leading to growth inhibition 6||MolecularInitiatingEvent||You Song (send email)||Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite||Under Development|
|Adult, reproductively mature||Moderate|
Key Event Description
Decreased coupling of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), or uncoupling of OXPHOS, describes dissipation of protonmotive force (PMF) across the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) by environmental stressors. In eukaryotes, the mitochondrial electron transport chain mediates a series of redox reactions to create a PMF across the IMM. The PMF is used as energy to drive adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis through phosphorylation of adenosine diphosphate (ADP). These processes are coupled and referred to as OXPHOS. A number of chemicals can dissipate the PMF, leading to uncoupling of OXPHOS. This key event describes the main outcome of the interactions between an uncoupler and the transmembrane PMF. An uncoupler can bind to a proton in the mitochondrial inter membrane space, transport the proton to the matrix side of the IMM, release the proton and move back to the inter membrane space. These processes are repeated until the transmembrane PMF is dissipated. This KE is therefore a lumped term of these processes and represents the final consequence of the interactions.
How It Is Measured or Detected
Uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation can be indicated by reduced mitochondrial membrane potential, increased proton leak and/or increased oxygen consumption rate.
- Mitochondrial membrane potential can be determined using ToxCast high-throughput screening bioassays such as “APR_HepG2_MitoMembPot”, “APR_Hepat_MitoFxnI”, and “APR_Mitochondrial_membrane_potential”, and the Tox21 high-throughput screening assay “tox21-mitotox-p1”.
- Mitochondrial membrane potential can also be measured using commercially available fluorescent probes such as TMRM (tetramethylrhodamine, methyl ester, perchlorate), TMRE (tetramethylrhodamine, ethyl ester, perchlorate) and JC-1 (Perry 2011).
- Proton leak and oxygen consumption rate can be measured using a high-resolution respirometry (Affourtit 2018) or a Seahorse XF analyzer (Divakaruni 2014).
Domain of Applicability
Taxonomic applicability domain
This key event is in general considered applicable to most eukaryotes, as the mitochondrion and oxidative phosphorylation are highly conserved (Roger 2017).
Life stage applicability domain
This key event is considered applicable to all life stages, as ATP synthesis by oxidative phosphorylation is an essential biological process for most living organisms.
Sex applicability domain
This key event is considered sex-unspecific, as both males and females use oxidative phosphorylation as a main process to generate ATP.
Evidence for Perturbation by Stressor
Overview for Molecular Initiating Event
Decreased coupling of oxidative phosphorylation can be directly triggered by “uncouplers” as a molecular initiating event.
- Most of the chemical uncouplers are protonophores, a type of proton binders that can translocate protons across membranes. These protonophores share several common structural characteristics, such as bulky hydrophobic moiety, an acid dissociable group and a strong electron-withdrawing group (Terada 1990). Weak acids such as phenols, benzimidazoles and salicylic acids are considered potential protonophores.
- Classical uncouplers, such as carbonyl cyanide-p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone (FCCP), carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazone (CCCP), 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP), pentachlorophenol (PCP) and SF-6847 (Terada 1990).
- Newer uncouplers, such as triclosan (Shim 2016; Weatherly 2016), emodin (Sugiyama 2019), and hydroxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) (Legradi 2014) have been widely investigated in vertebrates.
- Computational predictions based on quantitative structure-activity relationships (Russom 1997; Schultz 1997; Naven 2012; Dreier 2019; Troger 2020) and in vitro high-throughput screening (Escher 2002; Attene-Ramos 2013; Attene-Ramos 2015; Xia 2018) have facilitated the identification and classification of potential uncouplers from a large list of chemicals.
Affourtit C, Wong H-S, Brand MD. 2018. Measurement of proton leak in isolated mitochondria. In Palmeira CM, Moreno AJ, eds, Mitochondrial Bioenergetics: Methods and Protocols. Springer New York, New York, NY, pp 157-170.
Attene-Ramos MS, Huang R, Sakamuru S, Witt KL, Beeson GC, Shou L, Schnellmann RG, Beeson CC, Tice RR, Austin CP, Xia M. 2013. Systematic study of mitochondrial toxicity of environmental chemicals using quantitative high throughput screening. Chemical Research in Toxicology 26:1323-1332. DOI: 10.1021/tx4001754.
Attene-Ramos MS, Huang RL, Michael S, Witt KL, Richard A, Tice RR, Simeonov A, Austin CP, Xia MH. 2015. Profiling of the Tox21 chemical collection for mitochondrial function to identify compounds that acutely decrease mitochondrial membrane potential. Environ Health Persp 123:49-56. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1408642.
Divakaruni AS, Paradyse A, Ferrick DA, Murphy AN, Jastroch M. 2014. Chapter Sixteen - Analysis and Interpretation of Microplate-Based Oxygen Consumption and pH Data. In Murphy AN, Chan DC, eds, Methods in Enzymology. Vol 547. Academic Press, pp 309-354.
Dreier DA, Denslow ND, Martyniuk CJ. 2019. Computational in vitro toxicology uncovers chemical structures impairing mitochondrial membrane potential. J Chem Inf Model 59:702-712. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jcim.8b00433.
Escher BI, Schwarzenbach RP. 2002. Mechanistic studies on baseline toxicity and uncoupling of organic compounds as a basis for modeling effective membrane concentrations in aquatic organisms. Aquatic Sciences 64:20-35. DOI: 10.1007/s00027-002-8052-2.
Legradi J, Dahlberg A-K, Cenijn P, Marsh G, Asplund L, Bergman Å, Legler J. 2014. Disruption of Oxidative Phosphorylation (OXPHOS) by Hydroxylated Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (OH-PBDEs) Present in the Marine Environment. Environmental Science & Technology 48:14703-14711. DOI: 10.1021/es5039744.
Naven RT, Swiss R, Klug-Mcleod J, Will Y, Greene N. 2012. The development of structure-activity relationships for mitochondrial dysfunction: Uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation. Toxicol Sci 131:271-278. DOI: 10.1093/toxsci/kfs279.
Perry SW, Norman JP, Barbieri J, Brown EB, Gelbard HA. 2011. Mitochondrial membrane potential probes and the proton gradient: a practical usage guide. BioTechniques 50:98-115. DOI: 10.2144/000113610.
Roger AJ, Munoz-Gomez SA, Kamikawa R. 2017. The origin and diversification of mitochondria. Curr Biol 27:R1177-R1192. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.09.015.
Russom CL, Bradbury SP, Broderius SJ, Hammermeister DE, Drummond RA. 1997. Predicting modes of toxic action from chemical structure: Acute toxicity in the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas). Environ Toxicol Chem 16:948-967. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/etc.5620160514.
Schultz TW, Cronin MTD. 1997. Quantitative structure-activity relationships for weak acid respiratory uncouplers to Vibrio fisheri. Environ Toxicol Chem 16:357-360. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/etc.5620160235.
Shim J, Weatherly LM, Luc RH, Dorman MT, Neilson A, Ng R, Kim CH, Millard PJ, Gosse JA. 2016. Triclosan is a mitochondrial uncoupler in live zebrafish. J Appl Toxicol 36:1662-1667. DOI: 10.1002/jat.3311.
Sugiyama Y, Shudo T, Hosokawa S, Watanabe A, Nakano M, Kakizuka A. 2019. Emodin, as a mitochondrial uncoupler, induces strong decreases in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels and proliferation of B16F10 cells, owing to their poor glycolytic reserve. Genes to Cells 24:569-584. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/gtc.12712.
Terada H. 1990. Uncouplers of oxidative phosphorylation. Environ Health Perspect 87:213-218. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.9087213.
Troger F, Delp J, Funke M, van der Stel W, Colas C, Leist M, van de Water B, Ecker GF. 2020. Identification of mitochondrial toxicants by combined in silico and in vitro studies – A structure-based view on the adverse outcome pathway. Computational Toxicology 14:100123. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comtox.2020.100123.
Weatherly LM, Shim J, Hashmi HN, Kennedy RH, Hess ST, Gosse JA. 2016. Antimicrobial agent triclosan is a proton ionophore uncoupler of mitochondria in living rat and human mast cells and in primary human keratinocytes. Journal of Applied Toxicology 36:777-789. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/jat.3209.
Xia M, Huang R, Shi Q, Boyd WA, Zhao J, Sun N, Rice JR, Dunlap PE, Hackstadt AJ, Bridge MF, Smith MV, Dai S, Zheng W, Chu PH, Gerhold D, Witt KL, DeVito M, Freedman JH, Austin CP, Houck KA, Thomas RS, Paules RS, Tice RR, Simeonov A. 2018. Comprehensive analyses and prioritization of Tox21 10K chemicals affecting mitochondrial function by in-depth mechanistic studies. Environ Health Perspect 126:077010. DOI: 10.1289/EHP2589.