Protecting the Heart

Science's STKE  05 Nov 2002:
Vol. 2002, Issue 157, pp. tw405-TW405
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2002.157.tw405

Within the mitochondria of heart cells, ion channels control the flux of different ions and change the physiological status of the mitochondria, which in turn affect the relative health of the heart cell. Xu et al. now describe the role of a calcium-activated potassium channel in the inner mitochondrial membrane of guinea-pig heart cells in protecting the cells from ischemia. A drug that opened the channel could protect the heart from infarction.

W. Xu, Y. Liu, S. Wang, T. McDonald, J. E. Van Eyk, A. Sidor, B. O'Rourke, Cytoprotective role of Ca2+- activated K+ channels in the cardiac inner mitochondrial membrane. Science 298, 1029-1033 (2002). [Abstract] [Full Text]