SIGNIFICANCE: Mitochondrial ion channels/transporters and the electron transport chain (ETC) serve as key sensors and regulators for cellular redox signaling, the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitrogen species (RNS) in mitochondria, and balancing cell survival and death. Although the functional and pharmacological characteristics of mitochondrial ion transport mechanisms have been extensively studied for several decades, the majority of the molecular identities that are responsible for these channels/transporters have remained a mystery until very recently.
RECENT ADVANCES: Recent breakthrough studies uncovered the molecular identities of the diverse array of major mitochondrial ion channels/transporters, including the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter pore, mitochondrial permeability transition pore, and mitochondrial ATP-sensitive K+ channel. This new information enables us to form detailed molecular and functional characterizations of mitochondrial ion channels/transporters and their roles in mitochondrial redox signaling.
CRITICAL ISSUES: Redox-mediated post-translational modifications of mitochondrial ion channels/transporters and ETC serve as key mechanisms for the spatiotemporal control of mitochondrial ROS/RNS generation.
FUTURE DIRECTIONS: Identification of detailed molecular mechanisms for redox-mediated regulation of mitochondrial ion channels will enable us to find novel therapeutic targets for many diseases that are associated with cellular redox signaling and mitochondrial ion channels/transporters.
Recommended CitationO-Uchi, Jin; Ryu, Shin-Young; Jhun, Bong Sook; Hurst, Stephen; and Sheu, Shey-Shing, "Mitochondrial ion channels/transporters as sensors and regulators of cellular redox signaling." (2014). Department of Medicine Faculty Papers. Paper 128.