Purification of functional mouse skeletal muscle mitochondria using percoll density gradient centrifugation

Document Type


Publication Date



MaineHealth Institute for Research

Journal Title

BMC research notes

MeSH Headings

Mice; Animals; Proteomics; Centrifugation, Density Gradient; Mitochondria (metabolism); Muscle, Skeletal (metabolism); Mitochondria, Muscle (metabolism)


OBJECTIVE: Our goal was to isolate purified mitochondria from mouse skeletal muscle using a Percoll density gradient and to assess bioenergetic function and purity via Seahorse Extracellular Flux (XF) Analyses and mass spectrometry. RESULTS: Mitochondria isolated from murine quadriceps femoris skeletal muscle using a Percoll density gradient method allowed for minimally contaminated preparations with time from tissue harvest to mitochondrial isolation and quantification in about 3-4 h. Percoll purification from 100 to 200 mg fresh tissue yielded ~ 200-400 ug protein. Mitochondrial bioenergetics evaluated using the Seahorse XFe96 analyzer, a high-throughput respirometry platform, showed optimum mitochondrial input at 500 ng with respiratory control ratio ranging from 3.9 to 7.1 using various substrates demonstrating a high degree of functionality. Furthermore, proteomic analysis of Percoll-enriched mitochondria isolated from skeletal muscle using this method showed significant enrichment of mitochondrial proteins indicating high sample purity. This study established a methodology that ensures sufficient high quality mitochondria for downstream analyses such as mitochondrial bioenergetics and proteomics.

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