Research ArticleCalcium signaling

Loss of MCU prevents mitochondrial fusion in G1-S phase and blocks cell cycle progression and proliferation

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Science Signaling  30 Apr 2019:
Vol. 12, Issue 579, eaav1439
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aav1439

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Balancing Ca2+ pools in proliferating cells

Cell proliferation is an energetically demanding process. During the cell cycle, mitochondrial fusion and mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake increase, both of which correlate with increased ATP production. Koval et al. found that the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter (MCU) was required to balance Ca2+ concentrations in the cytosol and mitochondria. Without the MCU, the excess cytosolic Ca2+ resulted in mitochondrial fission mediated by Drp1, reduced ATP output, and decreased cellular proliferation. Thus, the MCU enables ATP production to match energy demands during the cell cycle.

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