AIMS: Reversible phosphorylation of mitochondrial proteins is essential in the regulation of respiratory function, energy metabolism, and mitochondrion-mediated cell death. We hypothesized that mitochondrial protein phosphorylation plays a critical role in cardioprotection during pre and postconditioning, two of the most efficient anti-ischaemic therapies. METHODS AND RESULTS: Using phosphoproteomic approaches, we investigated the profiles of phosphorylated proteins in Wistar rat heart mitochondria protected by pharmacological pre and postconditioning elicited by isoflurane. Sixty-one spots were detected by two-dimensional blue-native gel electrophoresis-coupled Western blotting using a phospho-Ser/Thr/Tyr-specific antibody, and 45 of these spots were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry. Eleven protein spots related to oxidative phosphorylation, energy metabolism, chaperone, and carrier functions exhibited significant changes in their phosphorylation state when protected mitochondria were compared with unprotected. Using a phosphopeptide enrichment protocol followed by liquid chromatography-MS/MS, 26 potential phosphorylation sites were identified in 19 proteins. Among these, a novel phosphorylation site was detected in adenine nucleotide translocator-1 (ANT1) at residue Tyr(194). Changes in ANT phosphorylation between protected and unprotected mitochondria were confirmed by immunoprecipitation. The biological significance of ANT phosphorylation at Tyr(194) was further tested with site-directed mutagenesis in yeast. Substitution of Tyr(194) with Phe, mimicking the non-phosphorylated state, resulted in the inhibition of yeast growth on non-fermentable carbon sources, implying a critical role of phosphorylation at this residue in regulating ANT function and cellular respiration. CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis emphasizes the regulatory functions of the phosphoproteome in heart mitochondria and reveals a novel, potential link between bioenergetics and cardioprotection.