, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 15-25

Mitochondrial Calcium Signaling Driven by the IP3 Receptor

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Many agonists bring about their effects on cellular functions through a rise incytosolic [Ca2+]([Ca2+]c) mediated by the second messenger inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3). Imaging studiesof single cells have demonstrated that [Ca2+]c signals display cell specific spatiotemporalorganization that is established by coordinated activation of IP3 receptor Ca2+ channels.Evidence emerges that cytosolic calcium signals elicited by activation of the IP3 receptors areefficiently transmitted to the mitochondria. An important function of mitochondrial calciumsignals is to activate the Ca2+-sensitive mitochondrial dehydrogenases, and thereby to meetdemands for increased energy in stimulated cells. Activation of the permeability transitionpore (PTP) by mitochondrial calcium signals may also be involved in the control of cell death.Furthermore, mitochondrial Ca2+ transport appears to modulate the spatiotemporal organizationof [Ca2+]c responses evoked by IP3 and so mitochondria may be important in cytosolic calciumsignaling as well. This paper summarizes recent research to elucidate the mechanisms andsignificance of IP3-dependent mitochondrial calcium signaling.