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Protein Cell. 2012 Jun;3(6):410-8. doi: 10.1007/s13238-012-2921-9. Epub 2012 Jul 1.

Mitochondrial network in the heart.

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  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Research, State Key Laboratory of Biomembrane and Membrane Biotechnology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.


Mitochondria are subcellular organelles that provide energy for the cell. They form a dynamic tubular network and play an important role in maintaining the cell function and integrity. Heart is a powerful organ that supplies the motivation for circulation, thereby requiring large amounts of energy. Thus, the healthiness of cardiomyocytes and mitochondria is necessary for the normal cardiac function. Mitochondria not only lie in the center of the cell apoptotic pathway, but also are the major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. Mitochondrial morphological change includes fission and fusion that are regulated by a large number of proteins. In this review we discuss the regulators of mitochondrial fission/fusion and their association with cell apoptosis, autophagy and ROS production in the heart.

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