About this Research Topic
The mitochondrial permeability transition (mPT) was discovered in the 1970s and it remains as one of the most mysterious phenomena in biology today. mPT is traditionally defined as a sudden change in the mitochondrial inner membrane permeability to different solutes with a size of <1.5 kDa. It was first characterized as an abnormal swelling of mitochondria upon high calcium overload leading to mitochondrial swelling, rupture of the outer mitochondrial membrane and cell death. Later, it was shown that these events are linked to the opening of a high conductance, non-selective channel of the mitochondrial inner membrane, named the “mitochondrial megachannel” or “mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP)”. mPTP is a high conductance, voltage-gated, non-selective protein channel of controversial molecular content. For decades, mPTP was assumed to be only a cell death channel that and causes irreversible, apoptosis-inducing changes in mitochondria. Nevertheless, mPTP was recently reported to be a pivotal physiological channel, which regulates Ca2+ signaling, intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis, ATP production efficiency and plays a crucial role during development. mPTP has been at the center of extensive scientific research for the last several decades. However, its exact molecular composition and the mechanism of conversion from a physiological to a pathological channel remains mysterious.
The aim of the current Research Topic is to cover recent advances in the field of mitochondrial research with the focus on mPTP. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:
1. The physiological role of mPTP in a) synaptic and neuronal development; b) cardiac development
2. The pathological role of mPTP in a) ischemia-reperfusion injury; b) neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s; c) cancer metabolism and progression.
3. The molecular composition of mPTP: Structural and regulatory components.
Keywords: embryogenesis, cell death, neurodegeneration, anti-cancer therapy, Mitochondrial permeability transition
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