Mechanisms and Models of Cardiac Excitation-Contraction Coupling
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Intracellular calcium (Ca2+) concentration plays an important regulatory role in a number of cellular processes. Cellular influx of Ca2+ activates intracellular signaling pathways that in turn regulate gene expression. Studies have identified over 300 genes and 30 transcription factors which are regulated by intracellular Ca2+ [1,2]. Fluctuation of intracellular Ca2+ levels is also known to regulate intracellular metabolism by activation of mitochondrial matrix dehydrogenases. The subsequent effects on the tri-carboxylic acid cycle increase the supply of reducing equivalents (NADH, FADH2), stimulating increased flux of electrons through the respiratory chain . Most importantly, Ca2+ is a key signaling molecule in excitation-contraction (EC) coupling, the process by which electrical activation of the cell is coupled to mechanical contraction and force generation.
KeywordsVentricular Myocytes Action Potential Duration Ryanodine Receptor Dependent Inactivation Action Potential Prolongation
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