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Genes 2017, 8(12), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8120377

Mitochondria and α-Synuclein: Friends or Foes in the Pathogenesis of Parkinson’s Disease?

1
Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine, University of Brescia, 25123 Brescia, Italy
2
Laboratory of Personalized and Preventive Medicine, University of Brescia, 25123 Brescia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Konstantin Khrapko and Dori Woods
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitochondria and Aging)
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Abstract

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a movement disorder characterized by dopaminergic nigrostriatal neuron degeneration and the formation of Lewy bodies (LB), pathological inclusions containing fibrils that are mainly composed of α-synuclein. Dopaminergic neurons, for their intrinsic characteristics, have a high energy demand that relies on the efficiency of the mitochondria respiratory chain. Dysregulations of mitochondria, deriving from alterations of complex I protein or oxidative DNA damage, change the trafficking, size and morphology of these organelles. Of note, these mitochondrial bioenergetics defects have been related to PD. A series of experimental evidence supports that α-synuclein physiological action is relevant for mitochondrial homeostasis, while its pathological aggregation can negatively impinge on mitochondrial function. It thus appears that imbalances in the equilibrium between the reciprocal modulatory action of mitochondria and α-synuclein can contribute to PD onset by inducing neuronal impairment. This review will try to highlight the role of physiological and pathological α-synuclein in the modulation of mitochondrial functions. View Full-Text
Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; mitochondrial dysfunction; mitochondrial homeostasis; α-synuclein; dopaminergic neurons Parkinson’s disease; mitochondrial dysfunction; mitochondrial homeostasis; α-synuclein; dopaminergic neurons
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Faustini, G.; Bono, F.; Valerio, A.; Pizzi, M.; Spano, P.; Bellucci, A. Mitochondria and α-Synuclein: Friends or Foes in the Pathogenesis of Parkinson’s Disease? Genes 2017, 8, 377.

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