ATP synthase activity is required for fructose to protect cultured hepatocytes from the toxicity of cyanide

J. W. Snyder, J. G. Pastorino, A. P. Thomas, J. B. Hoek, J. L. Farber

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30 Scopus citations


The contributions of the loss of the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and a depletion of ATP to the genesis of lethal injury were evaluated in the killing of cultured hepatocytes by cyanide (CN). The glycolytic production of ATP from fructose (Fru) maintained the MMP and prevented the killing by CN. Inhibition of the mitochondrial ATP synthase by 0.1 μg/ml oligomycin (Oligo) reduced ATP stores at the same rate and to the same extent as did 1 mM CN. With Oligo there was no loss of the MMP, and the hepatocytes maintained viability over the 6 h during which CN killed all of the cells. Oligo had no effect on the rate of killing by CN. However, Oligo reversed the protective effect of Fru on CN-induced killing, a result that correlated with the loss of MMP but not with the depletion of ATP. Neither Fru nor Oligo affected the intracellular acidosis achieved with CN alone. Fru also prevented toxicity of the uncoupler carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP), a result that correlated with the preservation of MMP. Oligo potentiated the toxicity of CCCP. It is concluded that a functioning mitochondrial ATP synthase is required for the production of ATP from Fru to prevent the killing of hepatocytes by CN. The extent of killing correlated closely with changes in the MMP but not with changes in the content of ATP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C709-C714
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number3 33-3
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


  • ischemia-hypoxia
  • mitochondrial membrane potential
  • oligomycin


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