Progress in understanding mitochondrial calcium uniporter complex‐mediated calcium signalling: A potential target for cancer treatment

Article date: May 2019

By: Chaochu Cui, Jianbo Yang, Liwu Fu, Mingyong Wang, Xianwei Wang in Volume 176, Issue 9, pages 1190-1205

Due to its Ca2+ buffering capacity, the mitochondrion is one of the most important intracellular organelles in regulating Ca2+ dynamic oscillation. Mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) is the primary mediator of Ca2+ influx into mitochondria, manipulating cell energy metabolism, ROS production, and programmed cell death, all of which are critical for carcinogenesis. The understanding of the uniporter complex was significantly boosted by recent groundbreaking discoveries that identified the uniporter pore‐forming subunit MCU and its regulatory molecules, including MCU‐dominant negative β subunit (MCUb), essential MCU regulator (EMRE), MCU regulator 1 (MCUR1), mitochondrial calcium uptake (MICU) 1, MICU2, and MICU3. These provide the means and molecular platform to investigate MCU complex (uniplex)‐mediated impaired Ca2+ signalling in physiology and pathology. This review aims to summarize the progress of the understanding regulatory mechanisms of uniplex, roles of uniplex‐mediated Ca2+ signalling in cancer, and potential pharmacological inhibitors of MCU.

DOI: 10.1111/bph.14632

View this article