Three‐dimensional electron microscopy techniques for unravelling mitochondrial dysfunction in heart failure and identification of new pharmacological targets: 3-D electron microscopy, mitochondria and heart failure

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A hallmark of heart failure is mitochondrial dysfunction leading to a bioenergetics imbalance in the myocardium. Consequently, there is much interest in targeting mitochondrial abnormalities to attenuate the pathogenesis of heart failure. This review discusses i) how electron microscopy (EM) techniques have been fundamental for current understanding of mitochondrial structure‐function ii) the paradigm shift in resolutions now achievable by 3‐D EM techniques due to the introduction of direct detection devices and phase plate technology, and iii) the application of EM for unravelling mitochondrial pathological remodelling in heart failure. We further consider the tremendous potential of multi‐scale EM techniques for therapeutics development, structure‐based ligand design and for delineating how a drug elicits nanostructural effects at the molecular, organelle and cellular levels. In conclusion, 3‐D EM techniques have entered a new era of structural biology and are poised to play a pivotal role in discovering new therapies targeting mitochondria for treating heart failure.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Early online date18 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2019