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PARK Genes Link Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Alpha-Synuclein Pathology in Sporadic Parkinson’s Disease

Authors
  • Li, Wen1, 2
  • Fu, YuHong1, 3
  • Halliday, Glenda M.1, 3
  • Sue, Carolyn M.1, 2
  • 1 Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW , (Australia)
  • 2 Kolling Institute of Medical Research, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW , (Australia)
  • 3 School of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
Publisher
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Jul 06, 2021
Volume
9
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/fcell.2021.612476
Source
Frontiers
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Mini Review
License
Green

Abstract

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disorder affecting millions of people worldwide. The disease is characterized by the progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons and spread of Lewy pathology (α-synuclein aggregates) in the brain but the pathogenesis remains elusive. PD presents substantial clinical and genetic variability. Although its complex etiology and pathogenesis has hampered the breakthrough in targeting disease modification, recent genetic tools advanced our approaches. As such, mitochondrial dysfunction has been identified as a major pathogenic hub for both familial and sporadic PD. In this review, we summarize the effect of mutations in 11 PARK genes (SNCA, PRKN, PINK1, DJ-1, LRRK2, ATP13A2, PLA2G6, FBXO7, VPS35, CHCHD2, and VPS13C) on mitochondrial function as well as their relevance in the formation of Lewy pathology. Overall, these genes play key roles in mitochondrial homeostatic control (biogenesis and mitophagy) and functions (e.g., energy production and oxidative stress), which may crosstalk with the autophagy pathway, induce proinflammatory immune responses, and increase oxidative stress that facilitate the aggregation of α-synuclein. Thus, rectifying mitochondrial dysregulation represents a promising therapeutic approach for neuroprotection in PD.

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