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Calcium signaling by mitochondria - mitochondria as organelles endowed with chronological memory


Research objectives and content
The investigations I have carried out during the past years have contributed to the identification of mitochondria with organelles participating actively to the intracellular Ca2+ signaling network' 2. The present proposal is based on my current results which indicate that mitochondria can store and retrieve Ca2+ signals in a time-resolved manner, i.e., that mitochondria memorize the chronology of Ca signals'. Briefly, Ca is released from the organelle in a temporally-ordered rnanner that mirrors the chronology of mitochondrial Ca2 uptake, cations accumulated first being released last. My experiments show that such memory persists for minutes, indicating that mitochondrial Ca2+ is sorted and stored on a temporal basis, within an organized submitochondrial compartment. I found that most of the Ca2 taken up/released by mitochondria, is directly channeled to/from this submitochondrial compartment capable of chronological Ca2+ storage. Such unprecedented observation of a memory process at the organelle level is challenging, and incitates to the precise identification of its context of operation, its mechanisms, and its biological meaning.1- Jouaville, L.S., Ichas, F., Holmuhamedov, E.L., Camacho, P., and Lechleiter, J.D. (1995) Nature 377,348441. 2- Ichas, F., Jouaville, L.S., and Mazat, J.-P. (1997) Cell89,1145-1153. 3-lchas, F., and Bernardi, P. (1997) Nature submitted. Training content (objective. benefit and expected impact)
The proposal involves a French citizen as mobile resarcher and an Italian host institution. It is aimed both at providing advanced training to the applicant, and pursuing a new collaboration between two European groups. The research project was designed by the applicant, taking into account the specific scientific and technical environment developed by Pr. Paolo Bernardi at the host institution. The field of the project is competitive, fast moving, and the experiments proposed should provide results also of interest to researchers outside the field.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
Not applicable

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)
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