Vitamin K2: New hope for Parkinson's patients?May 11, 2012
Neuroscientist Patrik Verstreken, associated with VIB and KU Leuven, succeeded in undoing the effect of one of the genetic defects that leads to Parkinson's using vitamin K2. His discovery gives hope to Parkinson's patients. This research was done in collaboration with colleagues from Northern Illinois University (US) and will be published this evening on the website of the authorative journal Science.
"It appears from our research that administering vitamin K2 could possibly help patients with Parkinson's. However, more work needs to be done to understand this better," says Patrik Verstreken.
Malfunctioning power plants are at the basis of Parkinson's.
If we looked at cells as small factories, then mitochondria would be the power plants responsible for supplying the energy for their operation. They generate this energy by transporting electrons. In Parkinson's patients, the activity of mitochondria and the transport of electrons have been disrupted, resulting in the mitochondria no longer producing sufficient energy for the cell. This has major consequences as the cells in certain parts of the brain will start dying off, disrupting communication between neurons. The results are the typical symptoms of Parkinson's: lack of movement (akinesia), tremors and muscle stiffness.
The exact cause of this neurodegenerative disease is not known. In recent years, however, scientists have been able to describe several genetic defects (mutations) found in Parkinson's patients, including the so-called PINK1 and Parkin mutations, which both lead to reduced mitochondrial activity. By studying these mutations, scientists hope to unravel the mechanisms underlying the disease process.
Paralyzed fruit flies
Fruit flies (Drosophila) are frequently used in lab experiments because of their short life spans and breeding cycles, among other things. Within two weeks of her emergence, every female is able to produce hundreds of offspring. By genetically modifying fruitflies, scientists can study the function of certain genes and proteins. Patrik Verstreken and his team used fruitflies with a genetic defect in PINK1 or Parkin that is similar to the one associated with Parkinson's. They found that the flies with a PINK1 or Parkin mutation lost their ability to fly.
Upon closer examination, they discovered that the mitochondria in these flies were defective, just as in Parkinson's patients. Because of this they generated less intracellular energy - energy the insects needed to fly. When the flies were given vitamin K2, the energy production in their mitochondria was restored and the insects' ability to fly improved. The researchers were also able to determine that the energy production was restored because the vitamin K2 had improved electron transport in the mitochondria. This in turn led to improved energy production.
Vitamin K2 plays a role in the energy production of defective mitochondria. Because defective mitochondria are also found in Parkinson's patients with a PINK1 or Parkin mutation, vitamin K2 potentially offers hope for a new treatment for Parkinson's.
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)
Related Mitochondria Articles:
Members of the Faculty of Biology and A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, a unit of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, have tested on a mouse model a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant, helping to treat diabetic wounds.
Researchers from Kumamoto University in Japan have found that the compound folic acid-conjugated methyl-BETA-cyclodextrin (FA-M-BETA-CyD) has significant antitumor effects on folate receptor-ALPHA-expressing (FR-ALPHA (+)) cancer cells.
A team of researchers develops a new method that enables the identification of proteins imported into mitochondria.
Biologists from the A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, a unit of the Lomonosov Moscow State University suggested the approach to prevent kidney injury after ischemia.
Researchers have long suspected that the benefits of exercise extend down to the cellular level, but know relatively little about which exercises help cells rebuild key organelles that deteriorate with aging.
A fault with the natural waste disposal system that helps to keep our brain cell 'batteries' healthy may contribute to neurodegenerative disease, a new study has found.
Mammals immortalize their genes through eggs and sperm to ensure future generations inherit good quality mitochondria to power the body's cells, according to new UCL research.
Scientists at The Wistar Institute have identified a novel protein pathway across several types of cancer that controls how tumor cells acquire the energy necessary for movement, invasion and metastasis.
Mitochondria-associated membrane (MAM) is a contacting site of endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria, and plays a key role in cellular homeostasis.
A Danish-Swedish research team working on a project led by University of Southern Denmark has discovered that muscle endurance is not only determined by the number of mitochondria, but also their structure.
Related Mitochondria Reading:
Mighty Mito: Power Up Your Mitochondria for Boundless Energy, Laser Sharp Mental Focus and a Powerful Vibrant Body
by Susanne Bennett (Author)
Ever wonder why toddlers and preschoolers run around with endless energy, and you’re ready to fall asleep just watching them? Finally, Dr. Susanne Bennett, has the answer! And it all has to do with the mighty mitochondria—that subcellular organelle that is responsible for your body’s energy production. Through Mighty Mito, Dr. Susanne explains why we lose energy as we get older and how each one of us can regain that energy by providing what our mitochondria thrive on. Healthy mitochondria equal better energy production in our cells. Better energy production equals more energy—and... View Details
Life - The Epic Story of Our Mitochondria: How the Original Probiotic Dictates Your Health, Illness, Ageing, and Even Life Itself
by Lee Know Nd (Author)
Why do we age? Why does cancer develop? What's the connection between heart failure and Alzheimer's disease, or infertility and hearing loss? Can we extend lifespan, and if so, how? What is the Exercise Paradox? Why do antioxidant supplements sometimes do more harm than good? Many will be amazed to learn that all these questions, and many more, can be answered by a single point of discussion-mitochondria and bioenergetics. This legendary saga began over two billion years ago, when one bacterium entered another without being digested, ultimately creating the first mitochondrion. Since then,... View Details
Your Mitochondria: Key to Health and Longevity
Your Mitochondria: Key to Health and Longevity is a must read for anyone who wants a healthier lifestyle. The book provides a deep dive into the relationship between mitochondrial health and cardiovascular diseases; cardiometabolic syndrome; neurodegenerative diseases; arthritis; cancer; and the aging effects on the skin, eyes, and muscles.
Want to live longer and live better?
Want to stave off age-related diseases?
Want to look younger and maintain vitality?
Read Your Mitochondria – Start Living Better.
Reading... View Details
The Machinery of Life
by David S. Goodsell (Author)
Imagine that we had some way to look directly at the molecules in a living organism. An x-ray microscope would do the trick, or since we’re dreaming, perhaps an Asimov-style nanosubmarine (unfortunately, neither is currently feasible). Think of the wonders we could witness firsthand: antibodies atta- ing a virus, electrical signals racing down nerve fibers, proteins building new strands of DNA. Many of the questions puzzling the current cadre of sci- tists would be answered at a glance. But the nanoscale world of molecules is separated from our everyday world of experience by a daunting... View Details
by Immo E. Scheffler (Author)
"This volume inspires. It certainly will be much appreciated by cell biologists all over the world."
Quarterly Review of Biology, March 2009
This book is the eagerly awaited second edition of the best-selling Mitochondria, a book widely acknowledged as the first modern, truly comprehensive authored work on the important, scientifically fundamental topic of the cellular organelles known as mitochondria.
This new edition brings readers completely up to date on the many significant findings that have occurred in the eight years since the book was first... View Details
Mitochondria and the Future of Medicine: The Key to Understanding Disease, Chronic Illness, Aging, and Life Itself
by Lee Know (Author)
With information for patients and practitioners on optimizing mitochondrial function for greater health and longevity
Why do we age? Why does cancer develop? What's the connection between heart failure and Alzheimer's disease, or infertility and hearing loss? Can we extend lifespan, and if so, how? What is the Exercise Paradox? Why do antioxidant supplements sometimes do more harm than good? Many will be amazed to learn that all these questions, and many more, can be answered by a single point of discussion: mitochondria and bioenergetics.
In Mitochondria... View Details
Minding My Mitochondria 2nd Edition: How I overcame secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) and got out of my wheelchair.
by Terry L. Wahls (Author), Tom Nelson (Illustrator)
Dr. Terry Wahls links micronutrient starvation to the epidemics of chronic disease that are overtaking modern society. She explains the key roles mitochondria play in maintaining a healthy brain and body. Americans are eating so poorly, something we all know to be true, that the majority of Americans are missing key building blocks that are needed for brain cells to be healthy. The result is an epidemic of depression, aggression, multiple sclerosis and early dementia. She then teaches you how to eat for healthy mitochondria, a healthy brain and a healthy body in language that is clear and... View Details
The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles
by Terry Wahls M.D. (Author), Eve Adamson (Author)
An integrative approach to healing chronic autoimmune conditions by a doctor, researcher, and sufferer of progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) whose TEDx talk is already a web sensation
Like many physicians, Dr. Terry Wahls focused on treating her patients’ ailments with drugs or surgical procedures—until she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2000. Within three years, her back and stomach muscles had weakened to the point where she needed a tilt-recline wheelchair. Conventional medical treatments were failing her, and she feared that she would be bedridden for... View Details
Mitochondria (Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology)
by Douglas C. Wallace (Author), Richard J. Youle (Author)
Mitochondria are subcellular organelles that function as "power plants¨for the cell, generating energy in the form of ATP from glucose, oxygen, and other molecules. Thought to have arisen about 2 billion years ago when an aerobic bacterium invaded the primitive eukaryotic cell, they have their own DNA, undergo fission and fusion independently, and play an important role in programmed cell death.
Written and edited by experts in the field, this collection from Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology discusses the evolution of mitochondria, their functions in cells, and the numerous... View Details