Respiratory acceptor control ratio

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Respiratory acceptor control ratio


The respiratory acceptor control ratio (RCR) is defined as State 3/State 4 [1]. If State 3 is measured at saturating [ADP], RCR is the inverse of the OXPHOS control ratio, L/P (when State 3 is equivalent to the OXPHOS state, P). RCR is directly but non-linearly related to the OXPHOS-coupling efficiency, j≈P = 1-L/P. Whereas the normalized flux ratio j≈P has boundaries from 0.0 to 1.0, RCR ranges from 1.0 to infinity, which needs to be considered when performing statistical analyses. In intact cells, the term RCR has been used for the ratio State 3u/State 4o, i.e. for the inverse L/E ratio [2,3]. Then for conceptual and statistical reasons, RCR should be replaced by the E-L coupling efficiency, j≈E= 1-L/E [4].

Abbreviation: RCR

Reference: Chance 1955 J Biol Chem-I, Gnaiger 2020 BEC MitoPathways, BEC 2020.1



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  1. Chance B, Williams GR (1955) Respiratory enzymes in oxidative phosphorylation. I. Kinetics of oxygen utilization. J Biol Chem 217:383-93. - »Bioblast link« - "No extremely rapid phase of respiration is observed to precede the steady rate caused by the addition of phosphate acceptor; phosphate acceptor sets the respiratory system into operation very rapidly and at a relatively constant rate. The constant-respiration rate of the phosphorylating system is maintained until the concentration of phosphate acceptor has fallen to a low value; then the respiration abruptly falls by a factor of 4- to l0-fold, depending upon the quality of the preparation. This abrupt decrease of respiration is due to the high affinity of the oxidative phosphorylation system for ADP."
  2. Hütter E, Renner K, Pfister G, Stöckl P, Jansen-Dürr P, Gnaiger E (2004) Senescence-associated changes in respiration and oxidative phosphorylation in primary human fibroblasts. Biochem J 380:919-28. - »Bioblast link«
  3. Gnaiger E (2009) Capacity of oxidative phosphorylation in human skeletal muscle. New perspectives of mitochondrial physiology. Int J Biochem Cell Biol 41:1837–45. - »Bioblast link«
  4. Gnaiger E (2020) Mitochondrial pathways and respiratory control. An introduction to OXPHOS analysis. 5th ed. BEC 2020.2. - »Bioblast link«

MitoPedia concepts: Respiratory control ratio 

MitoPedia methods: Respirometry