Sunday, November 12, 2017
Oxidative Stress: Mechanistic Insights into Inherited Mitochondrial Disorders and Parkinson's Disease
While the mitochondria is responsible for the majority of cellular metabolic energy, it can also result in a number of consequences when its function is compromised. When oxidative stress occurs, this leads to a phenomenon known as mitochondrial catastrophe. Oxidative stress increases reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels which damage the mtDNA due to lesions in the mitochondria. Programmed cell death, or apoptosis, is induced and further impairs mitochondrial function. Errors in metabolism can cause a number of inherited mitochondrial disorders such as Barth syndrome and Friedrerich ataxia.
Mitochondrial dysfunction has also led to the neurological disorder of Parkinson's disease. In 1997, it was discovered that the autosomal dominant mutation in the alpha-synculein (SNKA) was linked to this disorder. Moreover, evidence of IV drug abusers injecting 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) produced a neurotoxin which induced mitochondrial dysfunction and further led to Parkinson's disease-like symptoms.
I think this was a very interesting article that shed insight into how crucial the mitochondria is. Not only is it important in regulating metabolism, but proper function is necessary to prevent the inheritance of mtDNA disorders. I also thought it was intriguing that IV drug abuse could lead to a disorder as detrimental as Parkinson's disease.