Investigation into the difference in mitochondrial-cytosolic calcium coupling between adult cardiomyocyte and hiPSC-CM using a novel multifunctional genetic probe

Academic Article


  • Ca2+ cycling plays a critical role in regulating cardiomyocyte (CM) function under both physiological and pathological conditions. Mitochondria have been implicated in Ca2+ handling in adult cardiomyocytes (ACMs). However, little is known about their role in the regulation of Ca2+ dynamics in human-induced pluripotent stem cell–derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). In the present study, we developed a multifunctional genetically encoded Ca2+ probe capable of simultaneously measuring cytosolic and mitochondrial Ca2+ in real time. Using this novel probe, we determined and compared mitochondrial Ca2+ activity and the coupling with cytosolic Ca2+ dynamics in hiPSC-CMs and ACMs. Our data showed that while ACMs displayed a highly coordinated beat-by-beat response in mitochondrial Ca2+ in sync with cytosolic Ca2+, hiPSC-CMs showed high cell-wide variability in mitochondrial Ca2+ activity that is poorly coordinated with cytosolic Ca2+. We then revealed that mitochondrial-sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) tethering, as well as the inter-mitochondrial network connection, is underdeveloped in hiPSC-CM compared to ACM, which may underlie the observed spatiotemporal decoupling between cytosolic and mitochondrial Ca2+ dynamics. Finally, we showed that knockdown of mitofusin-2 (Mfn2), a protein tethering mitochondria and SR, led to reduced cytosolic-mitochondrial Ca2+ coupling in ACMs, albeit to a lesser degree compared to hiPSC-CMs, suggesting that Mfn2 is a potential engineering target for improving mitochondrial-cytosolic Ca2+ coupling in hiPSC-CMs. Physiological relevance: The present study will advance our understanding of the role of mitochondria in Ca2+ handling and cycling in CMs, and guide the development of hiPSC-CMs for healing injured hearts.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ernst P; Chen K; Tang Y; Kim S; Guan J; He J; Xie M; Zhang JJ; Liu XM; Zhou L
  • Start Page

  • 447
  • End Page

  • 459
  • Volume

  • 473
  • Issue

  • 3