MDPI, Cells, 12(8), p. 1617, 2019
Cardiac disease is still the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, despite some exciting and innovative improvements in clinical management. In particular, atrial fibrillation (AF) and heart failure show a steep increase in incidence and healthcare costs due to the ageing population. Although research revealed novel insights in pathways driving cardiac disease, the exact underlying mechanisms have not been uncovered so far. Emerging evidence indicates that derailed proteostasis (i.e., the homeostasis of protein expression, function and clearance) is a central component driving cardiac disease. Within proteostasis derailment, key roles for endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondrial stress have been uncovered. Here, we describe the concept of ER and mitochondrial stress and the role of interactions between the ER and mitochondria, discuss how imbalance in the interactions fuels cardiac ageing and cardiac disease (including AF), and finally assess the potential of drugs directed at conserving the interaction as an innovative therapeutic target to improve cardiac function.