BBA - Molecular Basis of Disease (v.1802, #1)

Mitochondrial dysfunction is a trigger of Alzheimer's disease pathophysiology by Paula I. Moreira; Cristina Carvalho; Xiongwei Zhu; Mark A. Smith; George Perry (2-10).
Mitochondria are uniquely poised to play a pivotal role in neuronal cell survival or death because they are regulators of both energy metabolism and cell death pathways. Extensive literature exists supporting a role for mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative damage in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. This review discusses evidence indicating that mitochondrial dysfunction has an early and preponderant role in Alzheimer's disease. Furthermore, the link between mitochondrial dysfunction and autophagy in Alzheimer's disease is also discussed. As a result of insufficient digestion of oxidatively damaged macromolecules and organelles by autophagy, neurons progressively accumulate lipofuscin that could exacerbate neuronal dysfunction. Since autophagy is the major pathway involved in the degradation of protein aggregates and defective organelles, an intense interest in developing autophagy-related therapies is growing among the scientific community. The final part of this review is devoted to discuss autophagy as a potential target of therapeutic interventions in Alzheimer's disease pathophysiology.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Autophagy; Mitochondria; Oxidative stress;

Mitochondrial dysfunction is an important intracellular lesion associated with a wide variety of diseases including neurodegenerative disorders. In addition to aging, oxidative stress and mitochondrial DNA mutations, recent studies have implicated a role for the mitochondrial accumulation of proteins such as plasma membrane associated amyloid precursor protein (APP) and cytosolic alpha synuclein in the pathogenesis of mitochondrial dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), respectively. Both of these proteins contain cryptic mitochondrial targeting signals, which drive their transport across mitochondria. In general, mitochondrial entry of nuclear coded proteins is assisted by import receptors situated in both outer and inner mitochondrial membranes. A growing number of evidence suggests that APP and alpha synclein interact with import receptors to gain entry into mitochondrial compartment. Additionally, carboxy terminal cleaved product of APP, ∼ 4 kDa Abeta, is also transported into mitochondria with the help of mitochondrial outer membrane import receptors. This review focuses on the mitochondrial targeting and accumulation of these two structurally different proteins and the mode of mechanism by which they affect the physiological functions of mitochondria.
Keywords: Mitochondrial import; Outer membrane translocase; Amyloid precursor protein; Alpha synuclein; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Alzheimer's disease; Parkinson' disease;

Dysregulation of mitochondrial structure and function has emerged as a central factor in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease and related parkinsonian disorders (PD). Toxic and environmental injuries and risk factors perturb mitochondrial complex I function, and gene products linked to familial PD often affect mitochondrial biology. Autosomal recessive mutations in PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) cause an L-DOPA responsive parkinsonian syndrome, stimulating extensive interest in the normal neuroprotective and mitoprotective functions of PINK1. Recent data from mammalian and invertebrate model systems converge upon interactions between PINK1 and parkin, as well as DJ-1, α-synuclein and leucine rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2). While all studies to date support a neuroprotective role for wild type, but not mutant PINK1, there is less agreement on subcellular compartmentalization of PINK1 kinase function and whether PINK1 promotes mitochondrial fission or fusion. These controversies are reviewed in the context of the dynamic mitochondrial lifecycle, in which mitochondrial structure and function are continuously modulated not only by the fission–fusion machinery, but also by regulation of biogenesis, axonal/dendritic transport and autophagy. A working model is proposed, in which PINK1 loss-of-function results in mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS), cristae/respiratory dysfunction and destabilization of calcium homeostasis, which trigger compensatory fission, autophagy and biosynthetic repair pathways that dramatically alter mitochondrial structure. Concurrent strategies to identify pathways that mediate normal PINK1 function and to identify factors that facilitate appropriate compensatory responses to its loss are both needed to halt the aging-related penetrance and incidence of familial and sporadic PD.
Keywords: PINK1; Parkin; Autophagy; Kinase; Mitochondria; Neurodegeneration; Oxidative stress; Parkinson's disease; Mitochondrial fission; Calcium dysregulation; Electron transport chain; Cristae;

Mitochondrial dysfunction in Parkinson's disease by Konstanze F. Winklhofer; Christian Haass (29-44).
Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles which fulfill a plethora of functions. In addition to their prominent role in energy metabolism, mitochondria are intimately involved in various key cellular processes, such as the regulation of calcium homeostasis, stress response and cell death pathways. Thus, it is not surprising that an impairment of mitochondrial function results in cellular damage and is linked to aging and neurodegeneration. Many lines of evidence suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction plays a central role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD), starting in the early 1980s with the observation that an inhibitor of complex I of the electron transport chain can induce parkinsonism. Remarkably, recent research indicated that several PD-associated genes interface with pathways regulating mitochondrial function, morphology, and dynamics. In fact, sporadic and familial PD seem to converge at the level of mitochondrial integrity.
Keywords: Parkinson's disease; Mitochondria; Parkin; PINK1; α-Synuclein; DJ-1; LRRK2;

Mitochondrial dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by Ping Shi; Jozsef Gal; David M. Kwinter; Xiaoyan Liu; Haining Zhu (45-51).
The etiology of motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remains to be better understood. Based on the studies from ALS patients and transgenic animal models, it is believed that ALS is likely to be a multifactorial and multisystem disease. Many mechanisms have been postulated to be involved in the pathology of ALS, such as oxidative stress, glutamate excitotoxicity, mitochondrial damage, defective axonal transport, glia cell pathology and aberrant RNA metabolism. Mitochondria, which play crucial roles in excitotoxicity, apoptosis and cell survival, have shown to be an early target in ALS pathogenesis and contribute to the disease progression. Morphological and functional defects in mitochondria were found in both human patients and ALS mice overexpressing mutant SOD1. Mutant SOD1 was found to be preferentially associated with mitochondria and subsequently impair mitochondrial function. Recent studies suggest that axonal transport of mitochondria along microtubules and mitochondrial dynamics may also be disrupted in ALS. These results also illustrate the critical importance of maintaining proper mitochondrial function in axons and neuromuscular junctions, supporting the emerging “dying-back” axonopathy model of ALS. In this review, we will discuss how mitochondrial dysfunction has been linked to the ALS variants of SOD1 and the mechanisms by which mitochondrial damage contributes to the disease etiology.
Keywords: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Mutant SOD1; Mitochondrial function; Axonal transport; Mitochondrial dynamics;

Mitochondria in Huntington's disease by Maria Damiano; Laurie Galvan; Nicole Déglon; Emmanuel Brouillet (52-61).
Huntington's disease (HD) is an inherited progressive neurodegenerative disorder associated with involuntary abnormal movements (chorea), cognitive deficits and psychiatric disturbances. The disease is caused by an abnormal expansion of a CAG repeat located in exon 1 of the gene encoding the huntingtin protein (Htt) that confers a toxic function to the protein. The most striking neuropathological change in HD is the preferential loss of medium spiny GABAergic neurons in the striatum. The mechanisms underlying striatal vulnerability in HD are unknown, but compelling evidence suggests that mitochondrial defects may play a central role. Here we review recent findings supporting this hypothesis. Studies investigating the toxic effects of mutant Htt in cell culture or animal models reveal mitochondrial changes including reduction of Ca2+ buffering capacity, loss of membrane potential, and decreased expression of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) enzymes. Striatal neurons may be particularly vulnerable to these defects. One hypothesis is that neurotransmission systems such as dopamine and glutamate exacerbate mitochondrial defects in the striatum. In particular, mitochondrial dysfunction facilitates impaired Ca2+ homeostasis linked to the glutamate receptor-mediated excitotoxicity. Also dopamine receptors modulate mutant Htt toxicity, at least in part through regulation of the expression of mitochondrial complex II. All these observations support the hypothesis that mitochondria, acting as “sensors” of the neurochemical environment, play a central role in striatal degeneration in HD.
Keywords: Huntington's disease; Mitochondrion; Excitotoxicity; Calcium; Glutamate; NMDA receptor; Dopamine;

Impaired mitochondrial trafficking in Huntington's disease by Xiao-Jiang Li; Adam L. Orr; Shihua Li (62-65).
Impaired mitochondrial function has been well documented in Huntington's disease. Mutant huntingtin is found to affect mitochondria via various mechanisms including the dysregulation of gene transcription and impairment of mitochondrial function or trafficking. The lengthy and highly branched neuronal processes constitute complex neural networks in which there is a large demand for mitochondria-generated energy. Thus, the impaired mitochondrial trafficking in neuronal cells may play an important role in the selective neuropathology of Huntington's disease. Here we discuss the evidence for the effect of the Huntington's disease protein huntingtin on the intracellular trafficking of mitochondria and the involvement of this defective trafficking in the pathogenesis of Huntington's disease.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Huntington; Trafficking; Neurodegeneration;

Is multiple sclerosis a mitochondrial disease? by Peizhong Mao; P. Hemachandra Reddy (66-79).
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a relatively common and etiologically unknown disease with no cure. It is the leading cause of neurological disability in young adults, affecting over two million people worldwide. Traditionally, MS has been considered a chronic, inflammatory disorder of the central white matter in which ensuing demyelination results in physical disability. Recently, MS has become increasingly viewed as a neurodegenerative disorder in which axonal injury, neuronal loss, and atrophy of the central nervous system leads to permanent neurological and clinical disability. In this article, we discuss the latest developments on MS research, including etiology, pathology, genetic association, EAE animal models, mechanisms of neuronal injury and axonal transport, and therapeutics. In this article, we also focus on the mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction that are involved in MS, including mitochondrial DNA defects, and mitochondrial structural/functional changes.
Keywords: Multiple sclerosis; Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; Mitochondria; Oxidative stress; Myelin; Neuroprotection; NO; Gender difference;

Mitochondria, oxidative metabolism and cell death in stroke by Neil R. Sims; Hakan Muyderman (80-91).
Stroke most commonly results from occlusion of a major artery in the brain and typically leads to the death of all cells within the affected tissue. Mitochondria are centrally involved in the development of this tissue injury due to modifications of their major role in supplying ATP and to changes in their properties that can contribute to the development of apoptotic and necrotic cell death. In animal models of stroke, the limited availability of glucose and oxygen directly impairs oxidative metabolism in severely ischemic regions of the affected tissue and leads to rapid changes in ATP and other energy-related metabolites. In the less-severely ischemic “penumbral” tissue, more moderate alterations develop in these metabolites, associated with near normal glucose use but impaired oxidative metabolism. This tissue remains potentially salvageable for at least the first few hours following stroke onset. Early restoration of blood flow can result in substantial recovery of energy-related metabolites throughout the affected tissue. However, glucose oxidation is markedly decreased due both to lower energy requirements in the post-ischemic tissue and limitations on the mitochondrial oxidation of pyruvate. A secondary deterioration of mitochondrial function subsequently develops that may contribute to progression to cell loss. Mitochondrial release of multiple apoptogenic proteins has been identified in ischemic and post-ischemic brain, mostly in neurons. Pharmacological interventions and genetic modifications in rodent models strongly implicate caspase-dependent and caspase-independent apoptosis and the mitochondrial permeability transition as important contributors to tissue damage, particularly when induced by short periods of temporary focal ischemia.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Stroke; Focal ischemia; Energy metabolism; Necrosis; Apoptosis;

Mitochondrial and apoptotic neuronal death signaling pathways in cerebral ischemia by Kuniyasu Niizuma; Hideyuki Yoshioka; Hai Chen; Gab Seok Kim; Joo Eun Jung; Masataka Katsu; Nobuya Okami; Pak H. Chan (92-99).
Mitochondria play important roles as the powerhouse of the cell. After cerebral ischemia, mitochondria overproduce reactive oxygen species (ROS), which have been thoroughly studied with the use of superoxide dismutase transgenic or knockout animals. ROS directly damage lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids in the cell. Moreover, ROS activate various molecular signaling pathways. Apoptosis-related signals return to mitochondria, then mitochondria induce cell death through the release of pro-apoptotic proteins such as cytochrome c or apoptosis-inducing factor. Although the mechanisms of cell death after cerebral ischemia remain unclear, mitochondria obviously play a role by activating signaling pathways through ROS production and by regulating mitochondria-dependent apoptosis pathways.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Cerebral ischemia; SOD1; Reactive oxygen species; Neuronal death; PIDD;

Cytochrome c oxidase (COX) deficiencies are one of the most common defects of the respiratory chain found in mitochondrial diseases. COX is a multimeric inner mitochondrial membrane enzyme formed by subunits encoded by both the nuclear and the mitochondrial genome. COX biosynthesis requires numerous assembly factors that do not form part of the final complex but participate in prosthetic group synthesis and metal delivery in addition to membrane insertion and maturation of COX subunits. Human diseases associated with COX deficiency including encephalomyopathies, Leigh syndrome, hypertrophic cardiomyopathies, and fatal lactic acidosis are caused by mutations in COX subunits or assembly factors. In the last decade, numerous animal models have been created to understand the pathophysiology of COX deficiencies and the function of assembly factors. These animal models, ranging from invertebrates to mammals, in most cases mimic the pathological features of the human diseases.
Keywords: Cytochrome c oxidase; Complex IV; Animal models; Mitochondrial diseases; Oxidative phosphorylation;

The mitochondrial brain: From mitochondrial genome to neurodegeneration by Helen E. Turnbull; Nichola Z. Lax; Daria Diodato; Olaf Ansorge; Doug M. Turnbull (111-121).
Mitochondrial DNA mutations are an important cause of neurological disease. The clinical presentation is very varied in terms of age of onset and different neurological signs and symptoms. The clinical course varies considerably but in many patients there is a progressive decline, and in some evidence of marked neurodegeneration. Our understanding of the mechanisms involved is limited due in part to limited availability of animal models of disease. However, studies on human post-mortem brains, combined with clinical and radiological studies, are giving important insights into specific neuronal involvement.
Keywords: Mitochondrial DNA;

Age-related neurodegenerative diseases are associated with mild impairment of oxidative metabolism and accumulation of abnormal proteins. Within the cell, the mitochondria appears to be a dominant site for initiation and propagation of disease processes. Shifts in metabolism in response to mild metabolic perturbations may decrease the threshold for irreversible injury in response to ordinarily sublethal metabolic insults. Mild impairment of metabolism accrue from and lead to increased reactive oxygen species (ROS). Increased ROS change cell signaling via post-transcriptional and transcriptional changes. The cause and consequences of mild impairment of mitochondrial metabolism is one focus of this review. Many experiments in tissues from humans support the notion that oxidative modification of the α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex (KGDHC) compromises neuronal energy metabolism and enhances ROS production in Alzheimer's Disease (AD). These data suggest that cognitive decline in AD derives from the selective tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle abnormalities. By contrast in Huntington's Disease (HD), a movement disorder with cognitive features distinct form AD, complex II + III abnormalities may dominate. These distinct mitochondrial abnormalities culminate in oxidative stress, energy dysfunction, and aberrant homeostasis of cytosolic calcium. Cytosolic calcium, elevations even only transiently, leads to hyperactivity of a number of enzymes. One calcium-activated enzyme with demonstrated pathophysiological import in HD and AD is transglutaminase (TGase). TGase is a crosslinking enzymes that can modulate transcription, inactivate metabolic enzymes, and cause aggregation of critical proteins. Recent data indicate that TGase can silence expression of genes involved in compensating for metabolic stress. Altogether, our results suggest that increasing KGDHC via inhibition of TGase or via a host of other strategies to be described would be effective therapeutic approaches in age-associated neurodegenerative diseases.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Oxidative stress; Transglutaminase; α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase; Calcium; Reactive oxygen specie;

Abnormal mitochondrial dynamics and neurodegenerative diseases by Bo Su; Xinglong Wang; Ling Zheng; George Perry; Mark A. Smith; Xiongwei Zhu (135-142).
Mitochondrial dysfunction is a prominent feature of various neurodegenerative diseases. A deeper understanding of the remarkably dynamic nature of mitochondria, characterized by a delicate balance of fission and fusion, has helped to fertilize a recent wave of new studies demonstrating abnormal mitochondrial dynamics in neurodegenerative diseases. This review highlights mitochondrial dysfunction and abnormal mitochondrial dynamics in Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington disease and discusses how these abnormal mitochondrial dynamics may contribute to mitochondrial and neuronal dysfunction. We propose that abnormal mitochondrial dynamics represents a key common pathway that mediates or amplifies mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal dysfunction during the course of neurodegeneration.
Keywords: Mitochondrial dynamics; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Mitochondrial distribution; Synaptic dysfunction; DLP1/Drp1; Alzheimer disease; Parkinson disease;

Mitochondrial trafficking and morphology in neuronal injury by Gordon L. Rintoul; Ian J. Reynolds (143-150).
Alterations in mitochondrial function may have a central role in the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases. The study of mitochondrial dysfunction has typically focused on ATP generation, calcium homeostasis and the production of reactive oxygen species. However, there is a growing appreciation of the dynamic nature of mitochondria within cells. Mitochondria are highly motile organelles, and also constantly undergo fission and fusion. This raises the possibility that impairment of mitochondrial dynamics could contribute to the pathogenesis of neuronal injury. In this review we describe the mechanisms that govern mitochondrial movement, fission and fusion. The key proteins that are involved in mitochondrial fission and fusion have also been linked to some inherited neurological diseases, including autosomal dominant optic atrophy and Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease 2A. We will discuss the evidence that altered movement, fission and fusion are associated with impaired neuronal viability. There is a growing collection of literature that links impaired mitochondrial dynamics to a number of disease models. Additionally, the concept that the failure to deliver a functional mitochondrion to the appropriate site within a neuron could contribute to neuronal dysfunction provides an attractive framework for understanding the mechanisms underlying neurologic disease. However, it remains difficult to clearly establish that altered mitochondrial dynamics clearly represent a cause of neuronal dysfunction.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Neurodegeneration; Fission; Fusion;

Mitochondrial dysfunctions have been implicated in the cellular processes underlying several neurodegenerative disorders affecting the basal ganglia. These include Huntington's chorea and Parkinson's disease, two highly debilitating motor disorders for which recent research has also involved gene mutation linked to mitochondrial deficits. Experimental models of basal ganglia diseases have been developed by using toxins able to disrupt mitochondrial function: these molecules act by selectively inhibiting mitochondrial respiratory complexes, uncoupling cellular respiration. This in turn leads to oxidative stress and energy deficit that trigger critical downstream mechanisms, ultimately resulting in neuronal vulnerability and loss. Here we review the molecular and cellular downstream effects triggered by mitochondrial dysfunction, and the different experimental models that are obtained by the administration of selective mitochondrial toxins or by the expression of mutant genes.
Keywords: 3-nitropropionic acid; Dopamine; Huntington's chorea; Huntingtin; Long-term potentiation; Parkin; Parkinson's disease; PINK1; Rotenone; Striatum;

Mitochondria: Joining forces to thwart cell death by Arezu Jahani-Asl; Marc Germain; Ruth S. Slack (162-166).
Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles that undergo constant cycles of fusion and fission. An additional level of regulation of mitochondrial function, which is particularly important in neurons, is their active transport along microtubules. Recent evidence suggests that the mitochondrial fusion/fission machinery as well as the molecular motors responsible for their movement constitute powerful regulatory control points that directly impact metabolism and regulation of cell death. This is true for not only apoptosis, but also for excitotoxicity where calcium overload is a major component of the cell death process. In this review, we will describe the molecular mechanisms regulating fusion and fission and how this impinges on cell survival in the context of acute neuronal injury.

Multifaceted deaths orchestrated by mitochondria in neurones by Phillip Nagley; Gavin C. Higgins; Julie D. Atkin; Philip M. Beart (167-185).
Neurones undergo diverse forms of cell death depending on the nature and severity of the stress. These death outcomes are now classified into various types of programmed cell death, including apoptosis, autophagy and necrosis. Each of these pathways can run in parallel and all have mitochondria as a central feature. Recruitment of mitochondria into cell death signalling involves either (or both) induction of specific death responses through release of apoptogenic proteins into the cytosol, or perturbation in function leading to loss of mitochondrial energisation and ATP synthesis. Cross-talk between these signalling pathways, particularly downstream of mitochondria, determines the resultant pattern of cell death. The differential recruitment of specific death pathways depends on the timing of engagement of mitochondrial signalling. Other influences on programmed cell death pathways occur through stress of the endoplasmic reticulum and the associated ubiquitin-proteasome system normally handling potentially neurotoxic protein aggregates. Based upon contemporary evidence apoptosis is a relatively rare in the mature brain whereas the contribution of programmed necrosis to various neuropathologies has been underestimated. The death outcomes that neurones exhibit during acute or chronic injury or pathological conditions considered here (oxidative stress, hypoxic-ischaemic injury, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases) fall within a spectrum of the diverse death types across the apoptosis-necrosis continuum. Indeed, dying or dead neurones may simultaneously manifest characteristics of more than one type of death pathway. Understanding neuronal death pathways and their cross-talk not only informs the detailed pathobiology but also suggests novel therapeutic strategies.
Keywords: Neurones; Mitochondria; Programmed Cell Death; Apoptosis; Necrosis; Autophagy; ER stress;

Effective therapies are needed for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal type of motor neuron disease. Morphological, biochemical, molecular genetic, and cell/animal model studies suggest that mitochondria have potentially diverse roles in neurodegenerative disease mechanisms and neuronal cell death. In human ALS, abnormalities have been found in mitochondrial structure, mitochondrial respiratory chain enzymes, and mitochondrial cell death proteins indicative of some non-classical form of programmed cell death. Mouse models of ALS are beginning to reveal possible principles governing the biology of selective neuronal vulnerability that implicate mitochondria. This minireview summarizes work on the how malfunctioning mitochondria might contribute to neuronal death in ALS through the biophysical entity called the mitochondrial permeability pore (mPTP). The major protein components of the mPTP are enriched in mouse motor neurons. Early in the course of disease in ALS mice expressing human mutant superoxide dismutase-1, mitochondria in motor neurons undergo trafficking abnormalities and dramatic remodeling resulting in the formation of mega-mitochondria and coinciding with increased protein carbonyl formation and nitration of mPTP components. The genetic deletion of a major mPTP component, cyclophilin D, has robust effects in ALS mice by delaying disease onset and extending survival. Thus, attention should be directed to the mPTP as a rational target for the development of drugs designed to treat ALS.
Keywords: Adenine nucleotide translocator; Apoptosis; Cell death; Cyclophilin D; Excitotoxicity; Mitochondria; Motor neuron; ppif; Voltage-dependent anion channel;

Amyloid beta (Aβ) plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease. Increasing evidence indicates mitochondria as an important target of Aβ toxicity; however, the effects of Aβ toxicity on mitochondria have not yet been fully elucidated. Recent biochemical studies in vivo and in vitro implicate mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) formation involvement in Aβ-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction. mPTP formation results in severe mitochondrial dysfunction such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, mitochondrial membrane potential dissipation, intracellular calcium perturbation, decrease in mitochondrial respiration, release of pro-apoptotic factors and eventually cell death. Cyclophilin D (CypD) is one of the more well-known mPTP components and recent findings reveal that Aβ has significant impact on CypD-mediated mPTP formation. In this review, the role of Aβ in the formation of mPTP and the potential of mPTP inhibition as a therapeutic strategy in AD treatment are examined.
Keywords: Amyloid beta; Alzheimer's disease; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial permeability transition pore; Cyclophilin D; Cyclosporine A;

Direct antioxidant and protective effect of estradiol on isolated mitochondria by Consuelo Borrás; Juan Gambini; Raúl López-Grueso; Federico V. Pallardó; Jose Viña (205-211).
Estrogens have antioxidant properties which are due to their ability to bind to estrogen receptors and to up-regulate the expression of antioxidant enzymes via intracellular signalling pathways. Mitochondria are key organelles in the development of age-associated cellular damage. Recently, estrogen receptors were identified in mitochondria. The aim of this paper was to test whether estradiol directly affects mitochondria by preventing oxidative stress and protecting frail mitochondria. Incubation with estradiol at normal intracellular concentrations prevents the formation of reactive oxygen species by mitochondria in a saturable manner. Moreover, estradiol protects mitochondrial integrity as indicated by an increase in mitochondrial membrane potential. It also prevents the apoptogenic leakage of cytochrome c from mitochondria and as a result the mitochondrial content of this cytochrome c is maintained high. Thus, estradiol prevents the onset of the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis by a direct effect on the organelle. Genistein, a phytoestrogen present at high concentration in soy, mimics the protective effect of estradiol by both decreasing the rate of formation of reactive oxygen species and preventing the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria.
Keywords: Estrogenic compound; Oxidative stress; Genistein; Cytochrome c; Mitochondria; Antioxidant;

Mitochondria: A therapeutic target in neurodegeneration by Paula I. Moreira; Xiongwei Zhu; Xinglong Wang; Hyoung-gon Lee; Akihiko Nunomura; Robert B. Petersen; George Perry; Mark A. Smith (212-220).
Mitochondrial dysfunction has long been associated with neurodegenerative disease. Therefore, mitochondrial protective agents represent a unique direction for the development of drug candidates that can modify the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration. This review discusses evidence showing that mitochondrial dysfunction has a central role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We also debate the potential therapeutic efficacy of metabolic antioxidants, mitochondria-directed antioxidants and Szeto–Schiller (SS) peptides. Since these compounds preferentially target mitochondria, a major source of oxidative damage, they are promising therapeutic candidates for neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, we will briefly discuss the novel action of the antihistamine drug Dimebon on mitochondria.
Keywords: Metabolic antioxidant; Mitochondria; Mitochondria-directed antioxidant; Neurodegeneration; SS peptide;

Mitochondria as ATP consumers in cellular pathology by Christos Chinopoulos; Vera Adam-Vizi (221-227).
ATP provided by oxidative phosphorylation supports highly complex and energetically expensive cellular processes. Yet, in several pathological settings, mitochondria could revert to ATP consumption, aggravating an existing cellular pathology. Here we review (i) the pathological conditions leading to ATP hydrolysis by the reverse operation of the mitochondrial FoF1-ATPase, (ii) molecular and thermodynamic factors influencing the directionality of the FoF1-ATPase, (iii) the role of the adenine nucleotide translocase as the intermediary adenine nucleotide flux pathway between the cytosol and the mitochondrial matrix when mitochondria become ATP consumers, (iv) the role of the permeability transition pore in bypassing the ANT, thereby allowing the flux of ATP directly to the hydrolyzing FoF1-ATPase, (v) the impact of the permeability transition pore on glycolytic ATP production, and (vi) endogenous and exogenous interventions for limiting ATP hydrolysis by the mitochondrial FoF1-ATPase.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Permeability transition; Adenine nucleotide translocase; FoF1-ATPase; ATP consumption;

Regulation of neuron mitochondrial biogenesis and relevance to brain health by Isaac G. Onyango; Jianghua Lu; Mariana Rodova; E. Lezi; Adam B. Crafter; Russell H. Swerdlow (228-234).
Mitochondrial dysfunction has severe cellular consequences, and is linked to aging and neurological disorders in humans. Impaired energy supply or Ca2+ buffering, increased ROS production, or control of apoptosis by mitochondria may contribute to the progressive decline of long-lived postmitotic cells. Mitochondrial biogenesis refers to the process via which cells increase their individual mitochondrial mass. Mitochondrial biogenesis may represent an attempt by cells to increase their aerobic set point, or an attempt to maintain a pre-existing aerobic set point in the face of declining mitochondrial function. Neuronal mitochondrial biogenesis itself has been poorly studied, but investigations from other tissues and model systems suggest a series of transcription factors, transcription co-activators, and signal transduction proteins should function to regulate mitochondrial number and mass within neurons. We review data pertinent to the mitochondrial biogenesis field, and discuss implications for brain aging and neurodegenerative disease research efforts.
Keywords: Mitochondrial biogenesis; Neurodegenerative disease; Aging; Oxidative stress; Mitophagy; Mitohormesis; PGC1a; Redox; mtDNA; Antioxidant;