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Nature. 2002 Jan 10;415(6868):198-205.

Cardiac excitation-contraction coupling.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola Unversity Chicago, IL 60153, USA.


Of the ions involved in the intricate workings of the heart, calcium is considered perhaps the most important. It is crucial to the very process that enables the chambers of the heart to contract and relax, a process called excitation-contraction coupling. It is important to understand in quantitative detail exactly how calcium is moved around the various organelles of the myocyte in order to bring about excitation-contraction coupling if we are to understand the basic physiology of heart function. Furthermore, spatial microdomains within the cell are important in localizing the molecular players that orchestrate cardiac function.

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