Autophagy and mitochondria: Targets in neurodegenerative disorders

December 26, 2018

Autophagy is a cellular degradation process that can cause the death of a cell in certain conditions. Autophagy is necessary to maintain cellular homeostasis by clearing out damaged cellular organelles and proteins through certain pathways. Mitochondria are cell organelles responsible for the constant supply of energy to maintain cellular physiology and energy metabolism.

Ashutosh Kumar et al. at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Hyderabad, India present a review on autophagy in neuronal cells. The researchers believe that autophagy on the neuronal cells can lead to neurodegenerative diseases and countering the effects of this process through targeted drugs can be beneficial in the fight against such diseases. Neuronal cells are more vulnerable to such bioenergetic depletion as most of their function crucially depends on availability of energy derived mainly from mitochondrial function. Any incidence of mitochondrial dysfunction inevitably results in neurodegeneration. Therefore, mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy) plays an integral role in the onset of neurodegenerative diseases as the instance and failure of these pathways can have destructive effects on cellular homeostasis.

Previous studies show significant association between neurodegenerative disorders and mitochondrial dysfunction and abnormal mitophagy. Abnormal mitophagy leads to the accumulation of protein aggregates and consequential neurodegeneration. Future treatments for neurodegenerative disorders could involve drugs targeting mitochondria and autophagy-related proteins and enzymes. This review discusses the involvement of mitochondrial and autophagy dysfunction in neurodegenerative disorders specifically focusing on Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's disease.
-end-
This article is Open Access till 31st December, 2018. To obtain the article, please visit: http://www.eurekaselect.com/164678

Bentham Science Publishers

Related Mitochondria Articles from Brightsurf:

Researchers improve neuronal reprogramming by manipulating mitochondria
Researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum M√ľnchen and Ludwig Maximilians University Munich (LMU) have identified a hurdle towards an efficient conversion: the cell metabolism.

Inside mitochondria and their fascinating genome
EPFL scientists have observed -- for the first time in living cells -- the way mitochondria distribute their transcriptome throughout the cell, and it involves RNA granules that turn out to be highly fluid.

'Cheater mitochondria' may profit from cellular stress coping mechanisms
Cheating mitochondria may take advantage of cellular mechanisms for coping with food scarcity in a simple worm to persist, even though this can reduce the worm's wellbeing.

A ribosome odyssey in mitochondria
The ciliate mitoribosome structure provides new insights into the diversity of translation and its evolution.

Fireflies shed light on the function of mitochondria
By making mice bioluminescent, EPFL scientists have found a way to monitor the activity of mitochondria in living organisms.

First successful delivery of mitochondria to liver cells in animals
This experiment marks the first time researchers have ever successfully introduced mitochondria into specific cells in living animals.

Lack of mitochondria causes severe disease in children
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered that excessive degradation of the power plants of our cells plays an important role in the onset of mitochondrial disease in children.

Unexpected insights into the dynamic structure of mitochondria
As power plants and energy stores, mitochondria are essential components of almost all cells in plants, fungi and animals.

Mitochondria are the 'canary in the coal mine' for cellular stress
Mitochondria, tiny structures present in most cells, are known for their energy-generating machinery.

Master regulator in mitochondria is critical for muscle function and repair
New study identifies how loss of mitochondrial protein MICU1 disrupts calcium balance and causes muscle atrophy and weakness.

Read More: Mitochondria News and Mitochondria Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.