SCI-VIS IFC-CNR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCI-VIS IFC-CNR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The calcium ions (white dots) are efficiently cleared from the intracellular space into the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) by the SERCA (spikes on SR in foreground). SERCA, fuelled by ATP from the mitochondria, rapidly pump calcium ions out of the intracellular space and into the SR where they are stored. This calcium ion reuptake is necessary for the relaxation of the heart muscle cells in diastole. The green ECG trace (top right) shows the healthy cycle with full relaxation phase.
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