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Phylogenetic differences of mammalian basal metabolic rate are not explained by mitochondrial basal proton leak


Polymeropoulos, ET and Heldmaier, G and Frappell, PB and McAllan, BM and Withers, KW and Klingenspor, M and White, CR and Jastroch, M, Phylogenetic differences of mammalian basal metabolic rate are not explained by mitochondrial basal proton leak, Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences, 279, (1726) pp. 185-193. ISSN 0962-8452 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2011 The Royal Society

DOI: doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.0881


Metabolic rates of mammals presumably increased during the evolution of endothermy, but molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying basal metabolic rate (BMR) are still not understood. It has been established that mitochondrial basal proton leak contributes significantly to BMR. Comparative studies among a diversity of eutherian mammals showed that BMR correlates with body mass and proton leak. Here, we studied BMR and mitochondrial basal proton leak in liver of various marsupial species. Surprisingly, we found that the mitochondrial proton leak was greater in marsupials than in eutherians, although marsupials have lower BMRs. To verify our finding, we kept similar-sized individuals of a marsupial opossum (Monodelphis domestica) and a eutherian rodent (Mesocricetus auratus) species under identical conditions, and directly compared BMR and basal proton leak. We confirmed an approximately 40 per cent lower mass specific BMR in the opossum although its proton leak was significantly higher (approx. 60%). We demonstrate that the increase in BMR during eutherian evolution is not based on a general increase in the mitochondrial proton leak, although there is a similar allometric relationship of proton leak and BMR within mammalian groups. The difference in proton leak between endothermic groups may assist in elucidating distinct metabolic and habitat requirements that have evolved during mammalian divergence.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:marsupials, eutherians, basal metabolic rate, mitochondria, basal proton leak, liver
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Biochemistry and cell biology
Research Field:Cell metabolism
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems
UTAS Author:Polymeropoulos, ET (Dr Elias Polymeropoulos)
UTAS Author:Frappell, PB (Professor Peter Frappell)
ID Code:75644
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:26
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2012-02-08
Last Modified:2017-11-01

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