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Defective Dynamics of Mitochondria in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Huntington's Disease

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Date Issued:
2012
Abstract/Description:
Mitochondria play important roles in neuronal function and survival, including ATP production, Ca2+ buffering, and apoptosis. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a common event in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington's disease (HD); however, what causes the mitochondrial dysfunction remains unclear. Mitochondrial fission is mediated by dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1) and fusion by mitofusin 1/2 (MFN1/2) and optic atrophy 1 (OPA1), which are essential for mitochondrial function. Mutations in the mitochondrial fission and fusion machinery lead to neurodegeneration. Thus, whether defective mitochondrial dynamics participates in ALS and HD requires further investigation.ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by upper and lower motor neuron loss. Mutations in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) cause the most common familiar form of ALS by mechanisms not fully understood. Here, a new motor neuron-astrocyte co-culture system was created and live-cell imaging was used to evaluate mitochondrial dynamics. Excessive mitochondrial fission was observed in mutant SOD1G93A motor neurons, correlating with impaired axonal transport and neuronal cell death. Inhibition of mitochondrial fission restored mitochondrial dynamics and protected neurons against SOD1G93A-induced mitochondrial fragmentation and neuronal cell death, implicating defects in mitochondrial dynamics in ALS pathogenesis.HD is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder caused by glutamine (Q) expansion in the polyQ region of the huntingtin (HTT) protein. In the current work, mutant HTT caused mitochondrial fragmentation in a polyQ-dependent manner in both primary cortical neurons and fibroblasts from human patients. An abnormal interaction between DRP1 and HTT was observed in mutant HTT mice and inhibition of mitochondrial fission or promotion of mitochondrial fusion restored mitochondrial dynamics and protected neurons against mutant HTT-induced cell death. Thus, mutant HTT may increase mitochondrial fission by elevating DRP1 GTPase activity, suggesting that mitochondrial dynamics plays a causal role in HD.In summary, rebalanced mitochondrial fission and fusion rescues neuronal cell death in ALS and HD, suggesting that mitochondrial dynamics could be the molecular mechanism underlying these diseases. Furthermore, DRP1 might be a therapeutic target to delay or prevent neurodegeneration.
Title: Defective Dynamics of Mitochondria in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Huntington's Disease.
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Name(s): Song, Wenjun, Author
Bossy-Wetzel, Ella, Committee Chair
Fernandez-Valle, Cristina, Committee Member
Cheng, Zixi, Committee Member
Self, William, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2012
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Mitochondria play important roles in neuronal function and survival, including ATP production, Ca2+ buffering, and apoptosis. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a common event in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington's disease (HD); however, what causes the mitochondrial dysfunction remains unclear. Mitochondrial fission is mediated by dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1) and fusion by mitofusin 1/2 (MFN1/2) and optic atrophy 1 (OPA1), which are essential for mitochondrial function. Mutations in the mitochondrial fission and fusion machinery lead to neurodegeneration. Thus, whether defective mitochondrial dynamics participates in ALS and HD requires further investigation.ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by upper and lower motor neuron loss. Mutations in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) cause the most common familiar form of ALS by mechanisms not fully understood. Here, a new motor neuron-astrocyte co-culture system was created and live-cell imaging was used to evaluate mitochondrial dynamics. Excessive mitochondrial fission was observed in mutant SOD1G93A motor neurons, correlating with impaired axonal transport and neuronal cell death. Inhibition of mitochondrial fission restored mitochondrial dynamics and protected neurons against SOD1G93A-induced mitochondrial fragmentation and neuronal cell death, implicating defects in mitochondrial dynamics in ALS pathogenesis.HD is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder caused by glutamine (Q) expansion in the polyQ region of the huntingtin (HTT) protein. In the current work, mutant HTT caused mitochondrial fragmentation in a polyQ-dependent manner in both primary cortical neurons and fibroblasts from human patients. An abnormal interaction between DRP1 and HTT was observed in mutant HTT mice and inhibition of mitochondrial fission or promotion of mitochondrial fusion restored mitochondrial dynamics and protected neurons against mutant HTT-induced cell death. Thus, mutant HTT may increase mitochondrial fission by elevating DRP1 GTPase activity, suggesting that mitochondrial dynamics plays a causal role in HD.In summary, rebalanced mitochondrial fission and fusion rescues neuronal cell death in ALS and HD, suggesting that mitochondrial dynamics could be the molecular mechanism underlying these diseases. Furthermore, DRP1 might be a therapeutic target to delay or prevent neurodegeneration.
Identifier: CFE0004444 (IID), ucf:49356 (fedora)
Note(s): 2012-08-01
Ph.D.
Medicine, Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Doctoral
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Neurodegenerative disease
mitochondrial dynamics
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
huntington's disease
sirtuin
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0004444
Restrictions on Access: campus 2017-08-15
Host Institution: UCF

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