Demonstration of an intramitochondrial invertase activity and the corresponding sugar transporters of the inner mitochondrial membrane in Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) tubers

András Szarka, Nele Horemans, Salvatore Passarella, Ákos Tarcsay, Ferenc Örsi, András Salgó, Gábor Bánhegyi

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Genetic evidences indicate that alkaline/neutral invertases are present in plant cell organelles, and they might have a novel physiological function in mitochondria. The present study demonstrates an invertase activity in the mitochondrial matrix of Helianthus tuberosus tubers. The pH optimum, the kinetic parameters and the inhibitor profile of the invertase activity indicated that it belongs to the neutral invertases. In accordance with this topology, transport activities responsible for the mediation of influx/efflux of substrate/products were studied in the inner mitochondrial membrane. The transport of sucrose, glucose and fructose was shown to be bidirectional, saturable and independent of the mitochondrial respiration and membrane potential. Sucrose transport was insensitive to the inhibitors of the proton-sucrose symporters. The different kinetic parameters and inhibitors as well as the absence of cross-inhibition suggest that sucrose, glucose and fructose transport are mediated by separate transporters in the inner mitochondrial membrane. The mitochondrial invertase system composed by an enzyme activity in the matrix and the corresponding sugar transporters might have a role in both osmoregulation and intermediary metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-775
Number of pages11
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2008



  • Fructose
  • Glucose
  • Invertase
  • Mitochondria
  • Osmoregulation
  • Sucrose transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

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