Module 12: Figure decoding cardiac Ca2+ spikes
Information decoding in ventricular cardiac cells.
A central feature of the heart disease working hypothesis is that the repetitive Ca2+ transients convey information to both contraction (digital tracking) and transcription (integrative tracking). In the absence of hypertrophic stimuli, the Ca2+ transients drive contraction and maintain the level of transcription of adult genes responsible for phenotypic stability. During hypertrophic stimuli, there are changes in the nature of the transient (e.g. an increase in amplitude as shown here), which is faithfully translated through digital tracking into an increase in the strength of each contraction. In addition, the increase in transient amplitude may switch on expression of the foetal genes responsible for remodelling the signalsome.