Mitochondrial membrane potential

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Mitochondrial membrane potential


The mitochondrial membrane potential, mtMP, is the electric part of the protonmotive force, ΔpH+.

Δψ = ΔpH+ - ΔµH+ / F

mtMP or Δψ is the potential difference across the inner mitochondrial (mt) membrane, expressed in the electric unit of volt [V]. Electric force of the mitochondrial membrane potential is the electric energy change per ‘motive’ electron or per electron moved across the transmembrane potential difference, with the number of ‘motive’ electrons expressed in the unit coulomb [C].

The chemical part of the protonmotive force, µH+ / F stems from the difference of pH across the mt-membrane. It contains a factor that bridges the gap between the electric force [J/C] and the chemical force [J/mol]. This factor is the Faraday constant, F, for conversion between electric force expressed in joules per coulomb or Volt [V=J/C] and chemical force with the unit joules per mole or Jol [Jol=J/mol],

F = 96.4853 kJol/V = 96,485.3 C/mol

Abbreviation: mtMP, Δψ [V]

Reference: Mitchell 1961 Nature, Gnaiger 2014 Preface MiP2014

Communicated by Gnaiger E 2012-10-05, edited 2016-02-06, 2017-09-05.


Click to expand or collaps
» Keywords: Force and membrane potential
Fundamental relationships
» Force
» Affinity
» Flux
» Advancement
» Advancement per volume
» Stoichiometric number
mt-Membrane potential and protonmotive force
» Protonmotive force
» Mitochondrial membrane potential
» Chemical potential
» Faraday constant
» Format
» Uncoupler
» O2k-Catalogue: O2k-TPP+ ISE-Module
» O2k-Manual: MiPNet15.03 O2k-MultiSensor-ISE
» TPP - O2k-Procedures: Tetraphenylphosphonium
» Specifications: MiPNet15.08 TPP electrode
» Poster
» Unspecific binding of TPP+
» TPP+ inhibitory effect
» O2k-Catalogue: O2k-FluoRespirometer
» O2k-Manual: MiPNet22.11 O2k-FluoRespirometer manual
» Safranin - O2k-Procedures: MiPNet20.13 Safranin mt-membranepotential / Safranin
» TMRM - O2k-Procedures: TMRM
» O2k-Publications: mt-Membrane potential
» O2k-Publications: Coupling efficiency;uncoupling

O2k-Open Support
This information is part of O2k-Open Support.

Different methods for measurements of mt-membrane potential

mt-Membrane potential can either be measured in the O2k-FluoRespirometer fluorometrically by using the fluorophores TMRM or Safranin, or potentiometrically with the O2k-TPP+ ISE-Module electrode by using the ion reporter TPP+. All mentioned ion indicator molecules inhibit respiration, which makes it essential to test the optimum concentration.

High-resolution respirometry and mt-membrane potential

The O2k-MultiSensor system provides a potentiometric and a fluorometric module for measurement of the mt-membrane potential.
» O2k-Manual TPP: MiPNet15.03 O2k-MultiSensor-ISE
» TPP: O2k-technical_support
» MiPNet20.13 Safranin mt-membranepotential
» TMRM: O2k-technical_support


  • The calculation used to calculate the mt-membrane potential values are provided here complying with Oroboros transparancy policy, see the following page: Safranin

SUITbrowser question: Mitochondrial membrane potential

Several SUIT protocols are focused on the measurement of mt-membrane potential by potentiometric and fluorometric techniques.
Use the SUITbrowser to find the best protocol to answer this and other research questions.

MitoPedia concepts: Respiratory state, Recommended, Ergodynamics 

MitoPedia methods: Respirometry, Fluorometry 

MitoPedia topics: EAGLE