Mechanotransduction and Metabolism in Cardiomyocyte Microdomains

Published in BioMed Research International, 2016


Efficient contractions of the left ventricle are ensured by the continuous transfer of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from energy production sites, the mitochondria, to energy utilization sites, such as ionic pumps and the force-generating sarcomeres. To minimize the impact of intracellular ATP trafficking, sarcomeres and mitochondria are closely packed together and in proximity with other ultrastructures involved in excitation-contraction coupling, such as t-tubules and sarcoplasmic reticulum junctions. This complex microdomain has been referred to as the intracellular energetic unit. Here, we review the literature in support of the notion that cardiac homeostasis and disease are emergent properties of the hierarchical organization of these units. Specifically, we will focus on pathological alterations of this microdomain that result in cardiac diseases through energy imbalance and posttranslational modifications of the cytoskeletal proteins involved in mechanosensing and transduction.