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Cristina Caffarra Malvezzi, Aderville Cabassi and Michele Miragoli

The role of mitochondria in cardiac tissue is of utmost importance due to the dynamic nature of the heart and its energetic demands, necessary to assure its proper beating function. Recently, other important mitochondrial roles have been discovered, namely its contribution to intracellular calcium handling in normal and pathological myocardium. Novel investigations support the fact that during the progression toward heart failure, mitochondrial calcium machinery is compromised due to its morphological, structural and biochemical modifications resulting in facilitated arrhythmogenesis and heart failure development. The interaction between mitochondria and sarcomere directly affect cardiomyocyte excitation-contraction and is also involved in mechano-transduction through the cytoskeletal proteins that tether together the mitochondria and the sarcoplasmic reticulum. The focus of this review is to briefly elucidate the role of mitochondria as (mechano) sensors in the heart.