Pharmacological Modulation of Mitochondrial Ca2+ Content Regulates Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Ca2+ Release via Oxidation of the Ryanodine Receptor by Mitochondria-Derived Reactive Oxygen Species

Shanna Hamilton, Radmila Terentyeva, Tae Yun Kim, Peter Bronk, Richard T. Clements, Jin O-Uchi, György Csordás, Bum Rak Choi, Dmitry Terentyev

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36 Scopus citations


In a physiological setting, mitochondria increase oxidative phosphorylation during periods of stress to meet increased metabolic demand. This in part is mediated via enhanced mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake, an important regulator of cellular ATP homeostasis. In a pathophysiological setting pharmacological modulation of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake or retention has been suggested as a therapeutic strategy to improve metabolic homeostasis or attenuate Ca2+-dependent arrhythmias in cardiac disease states. To explore the consequences of mitochondrial Ca2+ accumulation, we tested the effects of kaempferol, an activator of mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter (MCU), CGP-37157, an inhibitor of mitochondrial Na+/Ca2+ exchanger, and MCU inhibitor Ru360 in rat ventricular myocytes (VMs) from control rats and rats with hypertrophy induced by thoracic aortic banding (TAB). In periodically paced VMs under β-adrenergic stimulation, treatment with kaempferol (10 μmol/L) or CGP-37157 (1 μmol/L) enhanced mitochondrial Ca2+ accumulation monitored by mitochondrial-targeted Ca2+ biosensor mtRCamp1h. Experiments with mitochondrial membrane potential-sensitive dye TMRM revealed this was accompanied by depolarization of the mitochondrial matrix. Using redox-sensitive OMM-HyPer and ERroGFP_iE biosensors, we found treatment with kaempferol or CGP-37157 increased the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in mitochondria and the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR), respectively. Confocal Ca2+ imaging showed that accelerated Ca2+ accumulation reduced Ca2+ transient amplitude and promoted generation of spontaneous Ca2+ waves in VMs paced under ISO, suggestive of abnormally high activity of the SR Ca2+ release channel ryanodine receptor (RyR). Western blot analyses showed increased RyR oxidation after treatment with kaempferol or CGP-37157 vs. controls. Furthermore, in freshly isolated TAB VMs, confocal Ca2+ imaging demonstrated that enhancement of mitochondrial Ca2+ accumulation further perturbed global Ca2+ handling, increasing the number of cells exhibiting spontaneous Ca2+ waves, shortening RyR refractoriness and decreasing SR Ca2+ content. In ex vivo optically mapped TAB hearts, kaempferol exacerbated proarrhythmic phenotype. On the contrary, incubation of cells with MCU inhibitor Ru360 (2 μmol/L, 30 min) normalized RyR oxidation state, improved intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis and reduced triggered activity in ex vivo TAB hearts. These findings suggest facilitation of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake in cardiac disease can exacerbate proarrhythmic disturbances in Ca2+ homeostasis via ROS and enhanced activity of oxidized RyRs, while strategies to reduce mitochondrial Ca2+ accumulation can be protective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1831
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
StatePublished - Dec 21 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding. This work was supported by American Heart Association Grant #18POST33960456 to SH, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) RO1HL135236 to RC, NIH 7R01HL136757 to JO-U, NIH 1R01HL142864 to GC, NIH R01HL096669 to B-RC, American Heart Association Grant in Aid 15GRNT25650002 and NIH R01HL121796 to DT.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2018 Hamilton, Terentyeva, Kim, Bronk, Clements, O-Uchi, Csordás, Choi and Terentyev.


  • Ca-induced Ca release
  • hypertrophy
  • mitochondria
  • reactive oxygen species
  • ryanodine receptor
  • ventricular arrhythmia


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