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Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2017;240:403-422. doi: 10.1007/164_2016_129.

Mitochondrial Flashes: Elemental Signaling Events in Eukaryotic Cells.

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Institute of Molecular Medicine, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China.
Institute of Molecular Medicine, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China.


Mitochondrial flashes (mitoflashes) are recently discovered mitochondrial activity which reflects chemical and electrical excitation of the organelle. Emerging evidence indicates that mitoflashes represent highly regulated, elementary signaling events that play important roles in physiological and pathophysiological processes in eukaryotes. Furthermore, they are regulated by mitochondrial ROS, Ca2+, and protons, and are intertwined with mitochondrial metabolic processes. As such, targeting mitoflash activity may provide a novel means for the control of mitochondrial metabolism and signaling in health and disease. In this brief review, we summarize salient features and mechanisms of biogenesis of mitoflashes, and synthesize data on mitoflash biology in the context of metabolism, cell differentiation, stress response, disease, and ageing.


Dynamic activity; Mitochondrial permeability transition pore; Mitoflash; Reactive oxygen species (ROS); Signaling

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