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Mitochondria and calcium signaling in cell life and cell death
Published on February 28, 2018 38 min
Other Talks in the Series: Mitochondria in Health and Disease
My name is Michael Duchen, and I work in University College London. I'm going to talk about the relationship between cellular calcium signaling and mitochondrial function in health and disease in a talk I've entitled "Mitochondria and Calcium Signaling in Cell Life and Cell Death".
So, the over-arching goal of the work in my lab is to illuminate the roles of mitochondria in health and disease. We want to understand the place of mitochondria in cell physiology and in pathophysiology. We want to answer questions about how mitochondria influence and how they influenced by changes in cell function. We want to understand the processes and pathways that lead to mitochondrial damage in disease. We want to understand how much mitochondrial dysfunction has an impact on cell physiology. Ultimately, we're really interested in identifying potential mitochondrial pathways that we can target as therapeutic targets in human disease.
With these images, I want to emphasize the complexity and the dynamic nature of the mitochondrial network in cells, far removed from the bean-shaped static structures, which are illustrated in most biochemistry textbooks. The central image shows a living astrocytes in which we've labelled the mitochondria with a fluorescent dye. And we've imaged the cell on the stage of the confocal microscope. And I hope you can see how the mitochondria form a wonderful filigree network that ramifies throughout the cell. The movies emphasize the dynamic nature and responsiveness of mitochondria. The movie playing on the left of your screen shows mitochondria expressing a fluorescent protein and imaged in the peripheral nerve of a living mouse by my colleague Marija Sajic. You can see how the mitochondria constantly on the move, trafficking towards nerve terminal where they needed to provide the energy required for, transductions that take place at the nerve terminal, or back towards the cell body in the spinal cord. The image on the right shows live imaging of a HeLa cell, which is expressing a mitochondrial targeted green fluorescent protein, and you can see how the mitochondria constantly moving, sensing their local environment, fusing together, splitting apart. These are dynamic reactive structures, highly engaged with the business of cell physiology.