INXenopus oocytes, as well as other cells, inositol-l,4,5-tris-phosphate (Ins(l,4,5)P3)-induced Ca2+ release1-4 is an excitable process that generates propagating Ca2+ waves5-7 that annihilate upon collision8-12. The fundamental property responsible for excitability13 appears to be the Ca2+ dependency of the Ins(l,4,5)P3 receptor9. Here we report that Ins(l,4,5)P3-induced Ca2+ wave activity is strengthened by oxidizable substrates that energize mitochondria, increasing Ca2+ wave amplitude, velocity and interwave period. The effects of pyruvate/malate are blocked by ruthenium red at the Ca2+ uniporter, by rotenone at complex I, and by antimycin A at complex III, and are subsequently rescued at complex IV by ascorbate tetramethylphenylenediamine (TMPD)14. Our data reveal that potential-driven mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake is a major factor in the regulation of Ins(l,4,5)P3-induced Ca2+ release and clearly demonstrate a physiological role of mitochondria in intracellular Ca2+ signalling.
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