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SR-mitochondria communication in adult cardiomyocytes: A close relationship where the Ca2+ has a lot to say

De la Fuente, Sergio, Sheu, Shey-Shing
Archives of biochemistry and biophysics 2019 v.663 pp. 259-268
adults, calcium, calcium signaling, cardiomyocytes, energy metabolism, heart rate, mitochondria, mitophagy, reactive oxygen species, sarcoplasmic reticulum
In adult cardiomyocytes, T-tubules, junctional sarcoplasmic reticulum (jSR), and mitochondria juxtapose each other and form a unique and highly repetitive functional structure along the cell. The close apposition between jSR and mitochondria creates high Ca2+ microdomains at the contact sites, increasing the efficiency of the excitation-contraction-bioenergetics coupling, where the Ca2+ transfer from SR to mitochondria plays a critical role. The SR-mitochondria contacts are established through protein tethers, with mitofusin 2 the most studied SR-mitochondrial “bridge”, albeit controversial. Mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake is further optimized with the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter preferentially localized in the jSR-mitochondria contact sites and the mitochondrial Na+/Ca2+ exchanger localized away from these sites. Despite all these unique features facilitating the privileged transport of Ca2+ from SR to mitochondria in adult cardiomyocytes, the question remains whether mitochondrial Ca2+ concentrations oscillate in synchronicity with cytosolic Ca2+ transients during heartbeats. Proper Ca2+ transfer controls not only the process of mitochondrial bioenergetics, but also of mitochondria-mediated cell death, autophagy/mitophagy, mitochondrial fusion/fission dynamics, reactive oxygen species generation, and redox signaling, among others. Our review focuses specifically on Ca2+ signaling between SR and mitochondria in adult cardiomyocytes. We discuss the physiological and pathological implications of this SR-mitochondrial Ca2+ signaling, research gaps, and future trends.