Binding of estradiol to synaptosomal mitochondria: physiological significance
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The subsynaptosomal distribution and specific binding of 17 beta -estradiol in vitro to mitochondria isolated from presynaptic nerve endings of female rat brain were examined. 17 beta -Estradiol is (i) distributed unequally in synaptosomes and mitochondria posses the highest capacity to bind estradiol with respect to the available amount of the hormone. (ii) Estradiol binds specifically to isolated synaptosomal mitochondria. A Michaelis-Menten plot of specific binding was sigmoidal within a concentration range of 0.1-5 nM of added estradiol, with a saturation plateau at 3 nM. Binding of higher estradiol concentrations demonstrated an exponential Michaelis-Menten plot, indicating non-specific binding to mitochondria. V-max, and K-m for the sigmoidal-shape range were estimated as 46 +/- 6 fmol of estradiol/mg of mitochondrial proteins and 0.46 +/- 0.07 nM free estradiol respectively. (iii) Esstradiol binding is not affected by the removal of ovaries. The results show that inhibition of N...a-dependent Ca2+ efflux from mitochondria by estradiol occurs according to an affinity change of the translocator for Na+, at the same estradiol concentrations that show specific binding to mitochondrial membranes. These data imply that physiological concentrations of estradiol, acting on mitochondrial membrane properties, extragenomically modulate the mitochondrial, and consequently the synaptosomal content of Ca2+, and in that way exert a significant change in nerve cell homeostasis.