Control of Mitochondrial Metabolism by Calcium-Dependent Hormones

  • Paul Burnett
  • Lawrence D. Gaspers
  • Andrew P. Thomas


It is becoming clear that mitochondria are intimately involved in cellular Ca2+ signaling pathways. Mitochondria’s role may be two-fold: First, the capacity of mitochondria to accumulate Ca2+, coupled with the strategic localization of Ca2+ release channels with mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake sites, enables mitochondria to modulate hormone-induced [Ca2+]c oscillation properties. Mitochondria can discriminate between [Ca2+]c changes resulting from leaks or other effectors of Ca2+ cellular homeostasis and InsP3-dependent Ca2+ signaling. Second, hormone-induced oscillations in [Ca2+]m are within the physiological range for activation of Ca2+-sensitive mitochondrial dehydro-genases (McCormack et al., 1990; Robb-Gaspers et al., 1998a, 1998b; Rutter et al., 1996) and therefore provide a mechanism for coordinated regulation of mitochondrial oxidative metabolism by Ca2+. The relatively slow decay of active PDH level in CHO. T cells (Rutter et al., 1996) and of mitochondrial NADH and proton motive force in hepatocytes, following a [Ca2+]m transient, results in a sustained increase in these parameters as the frequency of [Ca2+]m oscillations increases. Hajnóczky et al. (1995) demonstrated that [Ca2+]m oscillation frequencies greater than 0.5 per second elicit sustained increases in NADH. Thus, mitochondria are able to integrate oscillating Ca2+ signals into a graded metabolic output.


Respiratory Chain Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Mitochondrial Matrix Heart Mitochondrion Mitochondrial Metabolism 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Burnett
    • 1
  • Lawrence D. Gaspers
    • 1
  • Andrew P. Thomas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and PhysiologyUniversity of Medicine and Dentistry of New JerseyNewerk

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