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You are watching: What is a consequence of plasma membrane damage to the mitochondria?

Forum top top Neuroscience and also Nervous system Disorders; plank on wellness Sciences Policy; institute of Medicine. Neurodegeneration: trying out Commonalities across Diseases: Workshop Summary. Washington (DC): nationwide Academies push (US); 2013 Dec 12.


Forum ~ above Neuroscience and also Nervous mechanism Disorders; board on health Sciences Policy; academy of Medicine.
Because of your high energy requirements, neurons are specifically vulnerable to injury and death native dysfunctional mitochondria.
Pathological and also physiological evidence reveals mitochondrial dysfunction in all significant neurodegenerative diseases.
Questions remain as to whether mitochondrial dysfunction is causal come neurodegenerative disease. Also if is not causal, mitochondrial dysfunction is still highly important and also likely contributory to disease. Identify therapies to enhance mitochondrial role or come degrade dysfunctional mitochondria might make sense.
Studying primary mitochondrial diseases can melted light ~ above neurodegenerative illness that show similar pathology. Due to the fact that both species of diseases impact multiple pathways and organ systems, they need the method of systems biology.
Potential therapeutic approaches incorporate medications that induce mitochondrial genesis, catalytic antioxidant to protect versus reactive oxygen species, regulators of intracellular calcium, and also regulators of redox potential throughout mitochondrial membrane. Maintain of redox potential is crucial for mitochondrial integrity and also control over oxidative phosphorylation.

Mitochondria room cellular oribel responsible because that oxidative phosphorylation, the vital process of convert nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules that administer the power for regular cell functions. Each neuron has at least hundreds of mitochondria. Because nerve cells room postmitotic, any kind of mitochondrial damage that is sustained will accumulate through age and lead come dysfunction. Widespread damage to mitochondria reasons cells to die due to the fact that they can no longer produce enough energy. Indeed, mitochondria us unleash the enzymes responsible for cell death. The brain is especially vulnerable come mitochondrial dysfunction since its power needs are higher than that of any other organ in the body. The brain accounts for only 2 percent that body weight yet spend 20 percent that oxygen.

Mitochondrial functioning is determined by two separate genomes, one in the mitochondria, recognized as mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and the various other in the nucleus. The mitochondrial genome encodes 13 proteins, all of which are an essential to oxidative phosphorylation. The nuclear genome encodes about 1,500 genes involved in mitochondrial biology, consisting of proteins essential for replication the mtDNA, transcription, translation, and also posttranslational modifications. There is just one copy the mtDNA, inherited indigenous the mother, versus two copies of atom DNA, one indigenous the mother and the other from the father. Mitochondria not only are responsible because that oxidative phosphorylation, but they likewise play far-ranging roles in metabolism and signaling, including fatty acid synthesis, ketone human body metabolism, calcium homeostasis, and also apoptosis. More specifically, mitochondria provide the bulk of cellular power in the kind of ATP. Lock generate and also regulate reactive oxygen species, they buffer calcium levels inside the cell, and also they manage apoptosis (Wallace, 2005, 2010).

Mitochondrial defects are discovered in pathological researches of all major neurodegenerative diseases, claimed Vamsi Mootha the Harvard clinical School. The variety of mitochondrial defects consists of fragmentation and also other morphological changes, boosted mutation rates in mtDNA, changes in permeability the mitochondrial membranes, changes in oxidation potential, accumulation of mutant proteins, and impaired oxidative phosphorylation (Reddy and Reddy, 2011). Yet whether these mitochondrial defects room causal in neurodegenerative condition is the fundamental question, Mootha said. The potential functions of mitochondria in neurodegenerative condition are, in his view, threefold: (1) castle harbor main lesions and also thus offer as the primary resource of an illness pathology; (2) they role properly, yet serve as mediators or amplifiers that disease; or (3) they are bystanders that do not add to pathology. Even if mitochondrial defects room not causal, lock are most likely contributory, provided Neil Kowall the Boston University, and also thus any therapy the preserves, enhances, or corrects mitochondrial function is likely to be useful in forestalling cell death and disease progression.

This thing summarizes workshop gift that provide evidence of mitochondrial dysfunction in major neurodegenerative diseases. Since the evidence is unclear regarding whether mitochondrial dysfunction is causal, it may be an important to look at at main mitochondrial conditions and take on a systems approach to research, number of participants said.


As detailed above, mitochondrial dysfunction is uncovered in the major neurodegenerative diseases. This section outlines workshop presentations around mitochondrial dysfunction in Parkinson"s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington"s disease, and also Alzheimer"s disease.

Parkinson"s Disease

Parkinson"s disease is defined by a lose of dopamine-containing neurons in the brain region well-known as the substantia nigra. Pathological and other studies have actually convincingly shown that mitochondrial deficiency accumulates in this mind region top top aging, said Richard Youle the the nationwide Institute the Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Youle"s talk focused on the duty of 2 proteins that room mutated in familial, early-onset Parkinson"s disease: Parkin and also PINK1 (PTEN-induced putative kinase 1).

The normal functions of Parkin and PINK1 have not to be well interpreted until recently, Youle said. Evidence from multiple varieties is accumulating the these proteins generally work with each other to create clearance of damaged mitochondria, a process known as mitophagy. That stands to factor that, if mutated, they can fail come induce mitophagy, leaving dysfunctional mitochondria to accumulate within the cell and also cause death. In this way, the fail of mitophagy is implicated in the etiology of early-onset Parkinson"s disease (Narendra and also Youle, 2011).

When mitochondria space under anxiety or damaged, remarked Youle, castle accumulate PINK1. PINK1 is a mitochondrial protein ordinarily anchored to the mitochondrion"s external membrane at short concentrations. As soon as the mitochondrial membrane loses its electrical potential—whether through DNA mutations, reactive oxygen species (ROS),1 or various other perturbations—PINK1 increases. Raising concentrations of PINK1, in turn, serve to recruit Parkin, which is a ubiquitin ligase, from the cytosol. Parkin marks the damaged mitochondrion v ubiquitin, a procedure that triggers development of one autophagosome (see likewise Chapter 3). The autophagosome engulfs the damaged mitochondrion, then merges v a lysosome, which degrades it. The findings on PINK1/Parkin, which have actually been replicated in lot of laboratories, have developed a novel pathway for mitochondrion quality control, said Youle. He noted that much of the previously work in this area to be done top top cultured cell lines, since the compounds offered to induce this pathway in cultured cabinet lines were too toxic come neurons. An ext recently, however, two groups have presented the pathway in neurons (Cai et al., 2012; Wang et al., 2011).

Youle relayed the his laboratory has started a medicine screening regime to determine compounds that stimulate the PINK1/Parkin pathway. While he recognized that civilization with early-onset Parkinson"s may not benefit from stimulating the pathway since their PINK1 or PARKIN room mutated, world with sparse Parkinson"s disease may benefit, as can others with neurodegenerative disease whose mitochondria room dysfunctional.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

ALS mostly affects engine neurons, top to steady muscle wasting and also paralysis. In pet models of ALS, mitochondrial abnormalities head symptoms of disease (Manfredi and also Xu, 2005). Electron microscopy has revealed structure abnormalities in mitochondria in spinal motor neurons and also in the motor cortex the ALS patients. Neil Kowall the Boston University concentrated his presentation top top SOD1 (Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase), the first identified gene responsible for causing ALS. The corresponding protein is mutated in around 20 percent of familial cases of ALS.2 The many widely used pet model of ALS is a transgenic computer mouse carrying a mutant SOD1 gene. The mouse develops muscle wasting comparable to that of ALS.

Mitochondria from engine neurons in this animal model exhibit smaller sized size, fewer number, defective membrane potential, and also impaired fusion. Fusion of mitochondria is draft to distribute mtDNA to the mitochondrial population and keep the volume for oxidative phosphorylation. This morphological and also physiological alters in mutSOD1 motor neurons are not checked out in wild kind SOD1 motor neurons (Magrane et al., 2012). MutSOD1 additionally alters the level of at least 50 various mitochondrial proteins, including proteins involved in the electron transfer chain and in fusion, suggesting a feasible widespread impact of mutSOD1 (Karbowski and also Neutzner, 2012).

mutSOD1 additionally inflicts mitochondrial damage, as assessed by boost of cytochrome c in the cytosol. Because cytochrome c is critical component the the electron transfer chain, i beg your pardon is located in the within membrane the the mitochondria, that release right into the cytoplasm indicates disruption of mitochondria membranes. However this toxic result only occurs in the visibility of the protein Bcl-2, which can reverse its functional phenotype and also become a toxicity protein (Pedrini et al., 2010). The to know of Bcl-2 together a vital contributor come SOD1 toxicity says that Bcl-2 could be supplied as a molecular target because that drugs designed to inhibit its action (Pedrini et al., 2010). Bcl-2 may additionally be an important target not only in familial ALS, but possibly additionally sporadic ALS, stated Kowall. That is because research has actually recently discovered that, in a subset the ALS patients with bulbar onset, wild-type SOD1 i do not care hyperoxidized. In concert through Bcl-2, hyperoxidized wtSOD1 display screens mitochondrial toxicity similar to the seen through mutSOD1. Thus, Bcl-2 to represent a typical link between familial and a subtype of sparse ALS, and also thus appears to it is in a good target for therapeutics that inhibit it.

Huntington"s Disease

Huntington"s an illness is an autosomal dominant an illness in i m sorry the mutated protein, mhuntingtin (mHTT), display screens excess polyglutamine repeats. MHTT localizes come the outer mitochondrial membrane, wherein it exerts widespread and also deleterious results on mitochondria and selective loss of neurons in the striatum. Kowall said a great deal of proof shows the mHTT reduce mitochondrial motility, changes mitochondrial morphology, reasons calcium dysregulation, to reduce oxidative phosphorylation, and also depolarizes the mitochondrial membrane in lymphoblasts that Huntington"s disease patients. The depolarization is boosted with greater numbers of polyglutamine repeats. MHTT additionally alters the balance in between mitochondrial combination and fission (Lin and Beal, 2006; Reddy and also Reddy, 2011).

Several therapeutic strategies have recently arised for Huntington"s disease, Kowall noted. One way is come target a mitochondrial fission3 protein come which mHTT binds, GTPase dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1). The targeting the DRP1 is said by the finding the a dominant-negative DRP1K38A mutant, i beg your pardon reduces DRP1 activity, rescues mitochondria from the adhering to adverse impacts of mHTT: mitochondrial fragmentation, defects in anterograde and also retrograde mitochondrial transport, and neuronal cabinet death. This findings were reported in cells from human beings with Huntington"s an illness and from mice (Song et al., 2011). In various other words, compounds the inhibit DRP1 could be helpful as potential therapies.

Kowall described two much more novel therapies. The first aims to detoxify HTT. It involves intraventricular infusion the ganglioside GM1, i beg your pardon phosphorylates mutant HTT at certain serine amino mountain residues. The method not just curtailed the toxicity the HTT, however also revived normal motor role in symptomatic Huntington"s an illness mice (Di Pardo et al., 2012). The second therapy is v the already approved drug meclizine. This medicine suppresses mitochondrial respiration and also activates cellular survival pathways. In numerous models of Huntington"s disease, meclizine was uncovered to be neuroprotective (Gohil et al., 2011).

Alzheimer"s Disease

Mitochondrial dysfunction precedes the pathological changes that space the hallmarks of Alzheimer"s condition (Yao et al., 2009). Douglas Wallace of the Children"s Hospital of Philadelphia proposed the the reason of Alzheimer"s disease—and dementia an ext broadly—is from underlying dysfunction of the mitochondria. Start in 1993, Wallace"s team found a mutation in one of the mitochondrial tRNA genes. The mutation correlated with 3 percent that late-onset Alzheimer"s cases, 5 percent that Parkinson"s, and 7 percent of the merged population. The detect was later corroborated by others. He asserted that subtle defects in tRNA will generate more worldwide mitochondrial protein synthesis defects. Subsequently, his team began to examine a mutation in ~ the nucleotide place 414, i m sorry is surrounding to the control region promoter the mtDNA. The mutation previously had been displayed to be enhanced with period in human fibroblasts (Michikawa et al., 1999). Wallace"s team uncovered the mutation in 65 percent that Alzheimer"s brains and 57 percent of under syndrome–dementia brains versus 0 percent of age-matched controls (Coskun et al., 2004).

Most recently, Wallace"s team examined an ext globally the control an ar of mtDNA in organization taken from the frontal cortex the the brain. The control an ar is responsible because that regulating transcription of mitochondrial genes and helps copy mtDNA. They discovered the greatest rate that somatic mutations in the Alzheimer"s mind (Coskun et al., 2010). The mutation frequency was likewise elevated in under syndrome–dementia situations relative come controls, but it was lower than that in Alzheimer"s. Control tissue did display an age-related increase in mutation frequency, although the level was reduced than that uncovered in the other groups. The heightened price of mutations was also found in serum and other organization of Alzheimer"s and also Down syndrome cases, saying that the phenomenon is systemic. But, claimed Wallace, the mind is the most deeply influenced tissue due to the fact that of the disproportionately high power demands. The study also found palliation in transcription of mtDNA and a reduction in the mtDNA copy number, implying a reduction in oxidative phosphorylation.

Turning come causation the neurodegenerative disease, Wallace expressed the watch that development of Aβ plaques is no causal; rather, the hypothesized, Aβ protein is initially developed by cells as a compensatory method of protecting mitochondria. Yet as the protein proceeds to it is in produced, it starts to aggregate to kind oligomers and also larger aggregates that inhibit mitochondria, leading to cell injury and also death. According to this model, the protein aggregates room contributory come the fatality of neurons in neurodegenerative disease, however not causal. Main causation, according to his hypothesis, rests through dysfunctional mitochondria. That expressed the opinion that “bioenergetics is the typical pathophysiological device for all of these neurodegenerative diseases.” He to be then questioned in the discussion by number of skeptical participants who did no agree with his causal attribution. In reply, Wallace described how his team had arisen a means to introduce a cytochrome oxidase allude mutation in mtDNA and found the the pet developed cardiomyopathy, myopathy, and also pathological transforms in hippocampal neurons, in retinal ganglion cells, and also in the optic nerve. “This one details point mutation—it has nothing to do with the nucleus—shows that energetics can affect all the those various functions,” that asserted.


Multiple currently of evidence suggest that toxicity proteins such as Aβ, apolipoprotein E (ApoE) fragments, and also α-Synuclein deserve to impair mitochondria, claimed Lennart Mucke that the Gladstone Institutes and the university of California at san Francisco. In this case, the damaged mitochondria would not be the primary cause of the disease, but rather would certainly be secondary to the actions of aggregated proteins, which would certainly be the main cause. A far-reaching amount of research reflects that Aβ peptide accumulates in mitochondria, whereby they reason dysfunction and also apoptosis (Manczak et al., 2006; Yao et al., 2009).

One possible mechanism whereby protein deposits room toxic come neurons is by handicap of axonal deliver of mitochondria. Mitochondria are produced largely in the cell body and need come be actively transported come the synapse, where energy need is high. There is no of mitochondria, synaptic function can be impaired. Mucke and his team assessed the impacts of Aβ and tau proteins on axonal transfer of mitochondria (Vossel et al., 2010). They discovered that including Aβ oligomers in culture quickly inhibited axonal transfer of mitochondria in healthy and balanced neurons, a finding supported by earlier research. They also were interested in determining whether tau play a role. Reducing tau level prevented Aβ oligomer-induced disruption that axon carry without affecting baseline axonal transport. The finish elimination of tau through gene knockdown additionally had the exact same effect. They concluded, “Aβ needs tau to dilute axonal transport, and also that tau reduction protects against defects in Aβ-induced axonal transport” (Vossel et al., 2010, p. 198-a).

Another disease-related protein the impairs mitochondria is ApoE. The ApoE gene is the main susceptibility gene identified for late-onset Alzheimer"s disease, and also it is uncovered on chromosome 19. Neurons develop ApoE once they are stressed by a hold of factors, consisting of aging, oxidative stress, trauma, and protein deposition. ApoE synthesis is assumed to protect neurons indigenous damage and also to repair and also remodel them. However, study has presented that the cleavage assets of ApoE impair mitochondria (Brecht et al., 2004). ApoE e4, the allele connected with Alzheimer"s disease, is most sensitive to being cleaved, conversely, the various other ApoE alleles are less so, said Mucke.


Given the uncertainty as to what roles mitochondrial dysfunction dram in neurodegerative disease, Mootha said the worth of studying primary mitochondrial diseases, which refer to almost 150 genetic conditions in i beg your pardon the lesion lies in a gene encoding a protein the is directly involved in mitochondrial biology. The illness are heterogeneous, v dozens gift the emphasis of research over many decades. Led to by hereditary single-gene mutations or deletions, they monitor Mendelian or a maternal pattern of inheritance.

Mitochondrial condition can burned light on neurodegenerative disease, said Mootha, in part because an illness phenotypes are similar. For example, some mitochondrial disease phenotypes encompass ataxia, neuropathy, myopathy, deafness, and also blindness. Indeed, several subsequent presentations concentrated on mitochondrial pathology in neurodegenerative disease, such together Parkinson"s and ALS. One more reason why mitochondrial diseases carry import for neurodegenerative an illness is that multiple organ systems are involved, as with neurodegenerative diseases, and their genetics are much better characterized with an ambitious project well-known as the Mitocarta, i beg your pardon is an perform of much more than 1,000 mouse genes encoding proteins the localize come the mitochondria (Pagliarini et al., 2008). Finally, mitochondrial illness are valuable, in his view, in providing “genetic extremes” the can aid to identify whether or no a certain neurodegenerative condition may have actually mitochondrial defects together the source cause. Mootha advised in search of connections between mitochondrial and neurodegenerative illness when there is at least some common ground, such as in pathogenesis, pathology, or biomarkers.

Even though mitochondria look similar upon microscopy, looks space deceiving. Mootha remarked ~ above the massive heterogeneity that mitochondria across different tissues. He report that, after examining 14 various tissues, research has uncovered that mitochondria indigenous 2 various tissues share only 75 percent of your proteins, conversely, the remaining mitochondrial proteins are tissue specific. There is even physiological heterogeneity within an separation, personal, instance cell—mitochondria, for example, can possess different patterns of fuel usage. Offered the diversity that phenotypes and also genotypes, Mootha supported for a systems technique to the examine of mitochondrial function. Such strategy combines genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, biochemistry, and also computer modeling to capture the dynamic variety of complex interactions within cell and across tissues. Applying systems biology to neurodegenerative illness would call for identifying component parts, building wiring diagrams to attach these parts, identifying circuitry causal because that the disease, and using the knowledge to develop therapies, the observed.


One commonality throughout neurodegenerative conditions is that they all attribute a high degree of cell death. Right here the focus is on mitochondria; mitochondria play a crucial role in regulating cell death, which wake up in specific mind regions throughout all neurodegenerative diseases. Cell fatality is of three types: (1) necrosis, i m sorry is the many chaotic type of death that requires cytoplasmic swelling, nuclear dissolution, and also lysis; (2) apoptosis, an orderly form of death, reliant top top ATP, the produces cell fragments that phagocytic cells are able come engulf and remove before the cell"s contents disgorge onto surrounding cells and also cause damage; and also (3) autophagy, in which the cell degrades the cytoplasm and organelles via lyosome (Martin et al., 2010). Mitochondria room the sites where antiapoptotic and proapoptotic proteins interact, and also they regulate signals because that cell death.

Lee boy name of Johns Hopkins university cautioned the cell fatality in human beings versus animal models that neurodegenerative conditions may no be by similar mechanisms. He reported mouse–human types differences in the factors regulating the mitochondrial permeability shift (MPT), the is, boost in permeability of mitochondrial membrane to tiny molecular load molecules. MPT outcomes from opened the mitochondrial permeability shift pore, a protein pore formed in mitochondrial membranes under specific pathological conditions. Induction of the permeability transition pore have the right to lead to ede of mitochondria and necrosis, and it additionally plays a significant role in some varieties of apoptosis. Martin also listed species distinctions in signaling mechanisms of caspases, which are enzymes under the manage of the mitochondria that are an important to apoptosis, distinctions in caspace substrates, differences in mitochondrial blend machinery, and in signaling mechanisms for DNA repair and metabolism, among others. Varieties differences in cell death confound the translate in of findings from animal models into person clinical trials, he observed. He suggested modifying the architecture of preclinical researches to rely much less on computer mouse as models and much more on human neural stem cell–derived neurons.


There room no developed biomarkers or therapies for dealing with mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative disease. Wallace said his activities is working to build them. One biomarker under advance is near-infrared spectroscopy across the skin, using different infrared diodes that interrogate the redox potential the the respiratory tract chains. Wallace claimed his activities is likewise developing a biomarker making use of micro-organic breath analysis. They are hoping to get some surrogate variables that readjust in genuine time, and then enter a Phase ns clinical trial and also have at least a safety/efficacy indication.

Regarding therapies, this thing has currently mentioned a couple of in relation to details neurodegenerative diseases. Focusing instead on generic therapies because that mitochondrial dysfunction, Wallace claimed his an initial priority for therapy would it is in to stimulate development of more mitochondria. Medicine to generate mitochondria room being tested in various animal models and also cell culture systems. In particular, he listed that the drug bezafibrate has actually been uncovered to boost mitochondrial biogenesis in cancer cells and also ameliorate mitochondrial dysfunction (Wang and also Moraes, 2011). It has actually not yet been experiment in brain cells.

Other therapeutic options, Wallace explained, incorporate (1) catalytic antioxidant to protect versus ROS; (2) regulators the intracellular calcium; and also (3) regulators of oxidization potential throughout mitochondrial membrane. Maintain of redox potential is an important for mitochondrial integrity and control over oxidative phosphorylation. One participant pointed out that antioxidant therapies have actually been uniformly ineffective in clinical trials, yet Wallace responded that the sheep may have actually not been high enough. An additional participant advised targeting mitochondrial therapies in instances of threshold effects, the is, the point at which there is far-ranging compromise that mitochondrial function. The participant also detailed the possibility of mitochondrial therapies having an additional downsides.


The workshop speakers identified many questions for future research and also other opportunities for future action. The suggestions related to mitochondrial dysfunction space compiled right here to administer a feeling of the selection of suggestions made. The suggestions are identified with the speaker that made them and also should not be construed as reflecting consensus from the workshop or proof by the institute of Medicine.

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Develop deeper expertise of power biology and also interactions between bioenergetics and also environmental influences. (Wallace)
Identify biomarkers to monitor mitochondrial functioning. (Lee, Mootha)
Find biomarkers of mitochondrial decline. (Mootha)
Identify new therapies that rise mitochondrial biogenesis. (Wallace)
Identify therapies that interfere through mitochondrial donation to pathogenesis that neurodegenerative disease, including therapies that increase mitophagy or stimulate task of PINK1 and also Parkin. (Mootha, Youle)

Mitochondrial fission is a quality regulate mechanism in which the mitochondrion divides into two, one healthy and also the other containing the damaged section of the mitochondria. The latter part is degraded.