Sarcoplasmic reticulum and calcium signaling in muscle cells: Homeostasis and disease

Roberto Bravo-Sagua*, Valentina Parra, Felipe Muñoz-Cordova, Pablo Sanchez-Aguilera, Valeria Garrido, Ariel Contreras-Ferrat, Mario Chiong, Sergio Lavandero

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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The sarco/endoplasmic reticulum is an extensive, dynamic and heterogeneous membranous network that fulfills multiple homeostatic functions. Among them, it compartmentalizes, stores and releases calcium within the intracellular space. In the case of muscle cells, calcium released from the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum in the vicinity of the contractile machinery induces cell contraction. Furthermore, sarco/endoplasmic reticulum-derived calcium also regulates gene transcription in the nucleus, energy metabolism in mitochondria and cytosolic signaling pathways. These diverse and overlapping processes require a highly complex fine-tuning that the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum provides by means of its numerous tubules and cisternae, specialized domains and contacts with other organelles. The sarco/endoplasmic reticulum also possesses a rich calcium-handling machinery, functionally coupled to both contraction-inducing stimuli and the contractile apparatus. Such is the importance of the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum for muscle cell physiology, that alterations in its structure, function or its calcium-handling machinery are intimately associated with the development of cardiometabolic diseases. Cardiac hypertrophy, insulin resistance and arterial hypertension are age-related pathologies with a common mechanism at the muscle cell level: the accumulation of damaged proteins at the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum induces a stress response condition termed endoplasmic reticulum stress, which impairs proper organelle function, ultimately leading to pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Review of Cell and Molecular Biology
EditorsOliver Kepp, Lorenzo Galluzzi
Number of pages68
ISBN (Print)9780128197448
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameInternational Review of Cell and Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1937-6448


  • Arterial hypertension
  • Calcium
  • Cardiac hypertrophy
  • Cardiac myocytes
  • Chronic diseases
  • Insulin resistance
  • Sarcoplasmic reticulum
  • Skeletal muscle cells
  • Smooth muscle cells

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