Mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) is a large channel located in the mitochondrial inner membrane. The opening of mPTP during pathological calcium overload leads to the membrane depolarization and disruption of ATP production. mPTP activation has been implicated as a central event during the process of stress-induced cell death. mPTP is a supramolecular complex composed of many proteins. Recent studies suggest that mitochondrial ATPase plays the central role in the formation of mPTP. However, the structure of the central conducting pore part of mPTP (mPTPore) remains elusive. Here we review current models proposed for the mPTPore and involvement of polyP in its formation and regulation. We discuss the underestimated role of polyP as an effector and a putative structural component of the mPTPore. We propose the hypothesis that inclusion of polyP can explain such properties of mPTP activity as calcium activation, selectivity and voltage-dependence.

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