Small Interfering RNA Targeting Mitochondrial Calcium Uniporter Improves Cardiomyocyte Cell Viability in Hypoxia/Reoxygenation Injury by Reducing Calcium Overload uri icon


  • © 2017 Yuriana Oropeza-Almazán et al. Intracellular Ca2+ mishandling is an underlying mechanism in hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) injury that results in mitochondrial dysfunction and cardiomyocytes death. These events are mediated by mitochondrial Ca2+ (mCa2+) overload that is facilitated by the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) channel. Along this line, we evaluated the effect of siRNA-targeting MCU in cardiomyocytes subjected to H/R injury. First, cardiomyocytes treated with siRNA demonstrated a reduction of MCU expression by 67%, which resulted in significant decrease in mitochondrial Ca2+ transport. siRNA treated cardiomyocytes showed decreased mitochondrial permeability pore opening and oxidative stress trigger by Ca2+ overload. Furthermore, after H/R injury MCU silencing decreased necrosis and apoptosis levels by 30% and 50%, respectively, and resulted in reduction in caspases 3/7, 9, and 8 activity. Our findings are consistent with previous conclusions that demonstrate that MCU activity is partly responsible for cellular injury induced by H/R and support the concept of utilizing siRNA-targeting MCU as a potential therapeutic strategy.

Publication date

  • January 1, 2017