A number of studies in recent years have demonstrated that the ER (endoplasmic reticulum) makes intimate contacts with mitochondria, the latter organelles existing both as individual organelles and occasionally as a more extensive interconnected network. Demonstrations that mitochondria take up Ca2+ more avidly upon its mobilization from the ER than when delivered to permeabilized cells as a buffered solution also indicate that a shielded conduit for Ca2+ may exist between the two organelle types, perhaps comprising the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor and mitochondrial outer membrane proteins including the VDAC (voltage-dependent anion channel). Although the existence of such intracellular ER–mitochondria ‘synapses’, or of an ER–mitochondria Ca2+ ‘translocon’, is an exciting idea, more definitive experiments are needed to test this possibility.
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Conference Article| May 22 2006
Moving Ca2+ from the endoplasmic reticulum to mitochondria: is spatial intimacy enough?
G.A. Rutter 1
*Department of Biochemistry, School of Medical Sciences, University Walk University of Bristol, Bristol BS81TD, U.K.
†Department of Cell Biology, Division of Medicine, Imperial College, Sir Alexander Fleming Building, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ, U.K.
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G.A. Rutter; Moving Ca2+ from the endoplasmic reticulum to mitochondria: is spatial intimacy enough?. Biochem Soc Trans 1 June 2006; 34 (3): 351–355. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/BST0340351
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