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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 891707, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/891707
Review Article

The Role of Cardiolipin in Cardiovascular Health

1Department of Biological Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
2Department of Biochemistry, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390-9038, USA

Received 21 May 2015; Accepted 8 July 2015

Academic Editor: Emanuele Marzetti

Copyright © 2015 Zheni Shen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Cardiolipin (CL), the signature phospholipid of mitochondrial membranes, is crucial for both mitochondrial function and cellular processes outside of the mitochondria. The importance of CL in cardiovascular health is underscored by the life-threatening genetic disorder Barth syndrome (BTHS), which manifests clinically as cardiomyopathy, skeletal myopathy, neutropenia, and growth retardation. BTHS is caused by mutations in the gene encoding tafazzin, the transacylase that carries out the second CL remodeling step. In addition to BTHS, CL is linked to other cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), including cardiomyopathy, atherosclerosis, myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury, heart failure, and Tangier disease. The link between CL and CVD may possibly be explained by the physiological roles of CL in pathways that are cardioprotective, including mitochondrial bioenergetics, autophagy/mitophagy, and mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways. In this review, we focus on the role of CL in the pathogenesis of CVD as well as the molecular mechanisms that may link CL functions to cardiovascular health.