The recent discovery of genes encoding the mitochondrial calcium (Ca(2+)) uniporter has revealed new opportunities for studying how abnormal Ca(2+) signals cause disease. Ca(2+) transport across the mitochondrial inner membrane is highly regulated, and the uniporter is the channel that acts as a major portal for Ca(2+) influx. Low amounts of mitochondrial Ca(2+) can boost ATP synthesis, but excess amounts, such as following cytoplasmic Ca(2+) overload in heart failure, triggers mitochondrial failure and cell death. In fact, precisely because mitochondrial Ca(2+) transport is so tightly regulated, a fundamental understanding of how the uniporter functions is necessary. Two key uniporter features allow Ca(2+) influx without mitochondrial damage during normal physiology. First, the channel is significantly more selective than other known Ca(2+) channels. This prevents the permeation of other ions and uncoupling of the electrochemical gradient. Second, the uniporter becomes active at only high Ca(2+) concentrations, preventing a resting leak of cytoplasmic Ca(2+) itself. Now possessing the identities of the various proteins forming the uniporter, we can proceed with efforts to define the molecular determinants of permeation, selectivity and Ca(2+)-regulation.
The mitochondrial uniporter is a highly selective calcium channel in the organelles inner membrane. Its molecular components include the EF-hand-containing calcium-binding proteins mitochondrial calcium uptake 1 (MICU1) and MICU2 and the pore-forming subunit mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU). We sought to achieve a full molecular characterization of the uniporter holocomplex (uniplex). Quantitative mass spectrometry of affinity-purified uniplex recovered MICU1 and MICU2, MCU and its paralog MCUb, and essential MCU regulator (EMRE), a previously uncharacterized protein. EMRE is a 10-kilodalton, metazoan-specific protein with a single transmembrane domain. In its absence, uniporter channel activity was lost despite intact MCU expression and oligomerization. EMRE was required for the interaction of MCU with MICU1 and MICU2. Hence, EMRE is essential for in vivo uniporter current and additionally bridges the calcium-sensing role of MICU1 and MICU2 with the calcium-conducting role of MCU.
Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are a superfamily of broadly expressed ion channels with diverse physiological roles. TRPC1, TRPC3, and TRPC6 are believed to contribute to cardiac hypertrophy in mouse models. Human mutations in TRPM4 have been linked to progressive familial heart block. TRPM7 is a divalent-permeant channel and kinase of unknown function, recently implicated in the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation; however, its function in ventricular myocardium remains unexplored.
Objective?To compare the effects of prophylactic indomethacin versus expectant management on short-term respiratory outcomes in extremely low-birth-weight (ELBW) infants. Methods?This was a retrospective cohort study of ELBW infants with gestational age less than 28 weeks, born at a level III neonatal intensive care unit from 2004 to 2009. Patients were grouped based on whether they received prophylactic indomethacin or expectant treatment. The key outcome was the cumulative number of days of mechanical ventilation. Other outcomes were cumulative number of days supplemental oxygen and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) were required; duration of hospital stay; mortality; and other morbidities such as necrotizing enterocolitis and intraventricular hemorrhage. Multivariable linear regression was performed with treatment group and seven covariates, defined a priori, as predictor variables and cumulative number of days of mechanical ventilation as the outcome. Results?There were 144 infants in the prophylaxis group and 221 infants in the expectant treatment group. At baseline, the Score for Neonatal Acute Physiology-Perinatal Extension, incidence of respiratory distress syndrome, and usage of antenatal corticosteroids were significantly higher in the prophylaxis group. The cumulative number of days of mechanical ventilation, supplemental oxygen, and CPAP were significantly higher in the prophylaxis group. On multivariable linear regression, after adjusting for confounders, use of prophylactic indomethacin (unstandardized ? coefficient?=?12.4; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 6.6, 18.1; p?0.001), birth weight (??=??-0.025; 95% CI: -0.05, -0.001; p?=?0.043), and gestation (??=??-4.5; 95% CI: -7.24, -1.8; p?=?0.001) were the independent predictors of cumulative number of days of mechanical ventilation. Conclusion?ELBW infants who received prophylactic indomethacin had significantly longer cumulative number of days of mechanical ventilation, supplemental oxygen, and CPAP. Prophylactic indomethacin is an independent predictor of cumulative number of days of mechanical ventilation.
Mitochondrial calcium (Ca(2+)) import is a well-described phenomenon regulating cell survival and ATP production. Of multiple pathways allowing such entry, the mitochondrial Ca(2+) uniporter is a highly Ca(2+)-selective channel complex encoded by several recently-discovered genes. However, the identity of the pore-forming subunit remains to be established, since knockdown of all the candidate uniporter genes inhibit Ca(2+) uptake in imaging assays, and reconstitution experiments have been equivocal. To definitively identify the channel, we use whole-mitoplast voltage-clamping, the technique that originally established the uniporter as a Ca(2+) channel. We show that RNAi-mediated knockdown of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) gene reduces mitochondrial Ca(2+) current (I MiCa ), whereas overexpression increases it. Additionally, a classic feature of I MiCa , its sensitivity to ruthenium red inhibition, can be abolished by a point mutation in the putative pore domain without altering current magnitude. These analyses establish that MCU encodes the pore-forming subunit of the uniporter channel. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00704.001.
Exercise increases oxygen consumption and causes a disturbance of intracellular pro-oxidant-antioxidant homeostasis. Athletes are exposed to acute and chronic stress that may lead to increased generation of oxidative species. Hence oxidative stress increases in athletes. Administration of antioxidant like alpha-tocopherol as supplementation may reduce the cell damage caused due to oxidative stress. In the present study, our aim was to study the effects of alpha-tocopherol supplementation on the cardiopulmonary fitness in endurance athletes (cyclists) and non-athletes. Our study included 40 cyclists who were trained under District Youth Service & Sports Office. 40 controls were randomly selected from student group of B.L.D.E.As Medical College. Alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E) 200 mg/day for 21 days wasgiven to study group and placebo was given to placebo group. Various physiological parameters like heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate were recorded, for assessing cardiopulmonary fitness: Physical Fitness Index (PFI) and VO2 max ml/min/kg were recorded before and after supplementation of vitamin E in athletes, and were compared with placebo group before and after supplementation of placebo and also with non-athletes. The results obtained from present study indicate that antioxidant like alpha-tocopherol supplementation did not contribute significantly to improve the cardiopulmonary fitness of endurance athletes.
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