Best known as the powerhouse of the cell, mitochondria have many other important functions such as buffering intracellular calcium and reactive oxygen species levels, initiating apoptosis and supporting cell proliferation and survival. Mitochondria are also dynamic organelles that are constantly undergoing fission and fusion to meet specific functional needs. These processes and functions are regulated by intracellular signaling at the mitochondria. A-kinase anchoring protein 1 (AKAP1) is a scaffold protein that recruits protein kinase A (PKA), other signaling proteins, as well as RNA to the outer mitochondrial membrane. Hence, AKAP1 can be considered a mitochondrial signaling hub. In this review, we discuss what is currently known about AKAP1′s function in health and diseases. We focus on the recent literature on AKAP1′s roles in metabolic homeostasis, cancer and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. In healthy tissues, AKAP1 has been shown to be important for driving mitochondrial respiration during exercise and for mitochondrial DNA replication and quality control. Several recent in vivo studies using AKAP1 knockout mice have elucidated the role of AKAP1 in supporting cardiovascular, lung and neuronal cell survival in the stressful post-ischemic environment. In addition, we discuss the unique involvement of AKAP1 in cancer tumor growth, metastasis and resistance to chemotherapy. Collectively, the data indicate that AKAP1 promotes cell survival throug regulating mitochondrial form and function. Lastly, we discuss the potential of targeting of AKAP1 for therapy of various disorders.
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