Cardiac cytoarchitecture: why the "hardware" is important for heart function!

Elisabeth Ehler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
134 Downloads (Pure)


Cells that constitute fully differentiated tissues are characterised by an architecture that makes them perfectly suited for the job they have to do. This is especially obvious for cardiomyocytes, which have an extremely regular shape and display a paracrystalline arrangement of their cytoplasmic components. This article will focus on the two major cytoskeletal multiprotein complexes that are found in cardiomyocytes, the myofibrils, which are responsible for contraction and the intercalated disc, which mediates mechanical and electrochemical contact between individual cardiomyocytes. Recent studies have revealed that these two sites are also crucial in sensing excessive mechanical strain. Signalling processes will be triggered that## lead to changes in gene expression and eventually lead to an altered cardiac cytoarchitecture in the diseased heart, which results in a compromised function. Thus, understanding these changes and the signals that lead to them is crucial to design treatment strategies that can attenuate these processes. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cardiomyocyte Biology: Integration of Developmental and Environmental Cues in the Heart edited by Marcus Schaub and Hughes Abriel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1857-1863
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et biophysica acta-Molecular cell research
Issue number7
Early online date11 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Formin
  • Intercalated disc
  • M-band
  • Myofibril


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