Effects of dibromothymoquinone on mung bean mitochondrial electron transfer and membrane fluidity

James N. Siedow, Steven C. Huber, Donald E. Moreland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of the quinone analog dibromothymoquinone on electron transfer in isolated mung bean mitochondria are described. Both the main, cyanidesensitive and the alternate, cyanide-insensitive pathways are inhibited by dibromothymoquinone but in markedly different fashions. Half-maximal inhibition appeared at 40 μM and 20 μM dibromothymoquinone for the cyanide-sensitive and alternate pathways, respectively. With succinate as the electron donor, dibromothymoquinone inhibited the alternate pathway at a single site; showing a mixed, non-competitive type inhibition. On the succinate, cyanide-sensitive pathway dibromothymoquinone showed two sites of inhibition and neither coincides with the site of inhibition associated with the alternate pathway. With malate as the electron donor, two sites of inhibition by dibromothymoquinone were observed regardless of the pathway measured. Dibromothymoquinone also inhibited the rate of valinomycin-induced swelling of isolated mung bean mitochondria. Steady-state kinetics showed the inhibition to be non-competitive with respect to valinomycin. Additionally dibromothymoquinone was observed to increase the fluorescence polarization associated with the hydrophobic probe 1,6-diphenylhexatriene. The results indicated that dibromothymoquinone decreased the fluidity of the inner mitochondrial membrane and suggested that the inhibition of mitochondrial electron transfer by dibromothymoquinone may be associated with this decrease in membrane fluidity. The relationship of the multisite nature of the inhibition of electron transfer by dibromothymoquinone and the possible role of mobile electron carriers such as ubiquinone on the main and alternate respiratory pathways of higher plants is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-295
Number of pages14
JournalBBA - Bioenergetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 14 1979


  • (Mung bean mitochondria)
  • Dibromothymoquinone
  • Electron transfer
  • Fluorescence polarization
  • Membrane fluidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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