Cytoprotective channels in mitochondria

Hossein Ardehali*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Several ion channels are expressed in the inner and outer membranes of mitochondria, but the exact function of these channels is not completely understood. The opening of certain channels is thought to induce the process of cell death or apoptosis. However, other channels of the inner mitochondrial membrane help protect against ischemic injury and oxidative stress. Mitochondrial ATP-sensitive K+ channels (mitoKATP) and mitochondrial Ca2+-activated K+ channels (mitoK Ca) are the primary protective channels that have been identified. In addition to their thermogenic role, certain isoforms of uncoupling proteins are also shown to have protective roles in certain experimental models. This review attempts to provide an updated overview of the proposed mechanism for the protective function of these membrane proteins. Controversies and unanswered questions regarding these channels will also be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-177
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005


  • Apoptosis
  • Ca-activated K channel
  • Ion channels
  • Ischemic preconditioning
  • Mitochondria
  • Mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium channel
  • Uncoupling proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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