Compartmentalization of Energy Production

It has been suggested that membrane bound glycolytic enzymes restrict glycolysis to the plasma membrane, and that changes in glycolysis may primarily modulate membrane associated mechanisms (38, 68). However, recent studies have also demonstrated that there are two glycolytic pathways within vascular smooth muscle cells, one serving the subplasmalemmal space whilst the other serves the center of the cell (12). The relative dependence of vascular smooth muscle on ATP production by glycolysis suggests that these divergent glycolytic pathways may play an important role in determining the regulation by hypoxia of distinct processes in different cellular compartments. Such compartmentalization may be facilitated by the limited mobility of ATP.

There is also evidence to suggest that mitochondria may be localized in particular cellular compartments, and that there may be a particularly close association between mitochondria and the SR (20, 17, 33). Furthermore, it has been suggested that multiple mitochondrial subtypes may serve different cellular compartments, raising the possibility that each subtype may support discrete cellular functions (17, 25, 60). Indirect support for this viewpoint may also be derived from the finding that mitochondrial DNA in cells which exhibit a high dependence on glycolysis may differ from that found in other cell types (4).

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