Studying dyadic structure–function relationships: A review of current modeling approaches and new insights into Ca2+ (mis)handling

Mary M. Maleckar, Andrew G. Edwards, William E. Louch, Glenn T. Lines

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Excitation–contraction coupling in cardiac myocytes requires calcium influx through L-type calcium channels in the sarcolemma, which gates calcium release through sarcoplasmic reticulum ryanodine receptors in a process known as calcium-induced calcium release, producing a myoplasmic calcium transient and enabling cardiomyocyte contraction. The spatio-temporal dynamics of calcium release, buffering, and reuptake into the sarcoplasmic reticulum play a central role in excitation–contraction coupling in both normal and diseased cardiac myocytes. However, further quantitative understanding of these cells’ calcium machinery and the study of mechanisms that underlie both normal cardiac function and calcium-dependent etiologies in heart disease requires accurate knowledge of cardiac ultrastructure, protein distribution and subcellular function. As current imaging techniques are limited in spatial resolution, limiting insight into changes in calcium handling, computational models of excitation–contraction coupling have been increasingly employed to probe these structure–function relationships. This review will focus on the development of structural models of cardiac calcium dynamics at the subcellular level, orienting the reader broadly towards the development of models of subcellular calcium handling in cardiomyocytes. Specific focus will be given to progress in recent years in terms of multi-scale modeling employing resolved spatial models of subcellular calcium machinery. A review of the state-of-the-art will be followed by a review of emergent insights into calcium-dependent etiologies in heart disease and, finally, we will offer a perspective on future directions for related computational modeling and simulation efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Medicine Insights: Cardiology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcium dynamics
  • Electrophysiology
  • Excitation-contraction coupling
  • Mathematical modeling and simulation
  • Subcellular modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Studying dyadic structure–function relationships: A review of current modeling approaches and new insights into Ca<sup>2+</sup> (mis)handling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this