Elucidation of the mitochondrial regulatory mechanisms for the understanding of muscle bioenergetics and the role of mitochondria is a fundamental problem in cellular physiology and pathophysiology. The cytoskeleton (microtubules, intermediate filaments, microfilaments) plays a central role in the maintenance of mitochondrial shape, location, and motility. In addition, numerous interactions between cytoskeletal proteins and mitochondria can actively participate in the regulation of mitochondrial respiration and oxidative phosphorylation. In cardiac and skeletal muscles, mitochondrial positions are tightly fixed, providing their regular arrangement and numerous interactions with other cellular structures such as sarcoplasmic reticulum and cytoskeleton. This can involve association of cytoskeletal proteins with voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC), thereby, governing the permeability of the outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) to metabolites, and regulating cell energy metabolism. Cardiomyocytes and myocardial fibers demonstrate regular arrangement of tubulin beta-II isoform entirely co-localized with mitochondria, in contrast to other isoforms of tubulin. This observation suggests the participation of tubulin beta-II in the regulation of OMM permeability through interaction with VDAC. The OMM permeability is also regulated by the specific isoform of cytolinker protein plectin. This review summarizes and discusses previous studies on the role of cytoskeletal proteins in the regulation of energy metabolism and mitochondrial function, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, and energy transfer.
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