Mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) regulates mitochondrial biogenesis, which is downregulated by extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases (ERK1/2) in cells treated chronically with the complex I inhibitor 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+). We utilized mass spectrometry to identify ERK1/2-dependent TFAM phosphorylation sites. Mutation of TFAM at serine 177 to mimic phosphorylation recapitulated the effects of MPP+ in decreasing the binding of TFAM to the light strand promoter, suppressing mitochondrial transcription. Mutant TFAM was unable to affect respiratory function or rescue the effects of MPP+ on respiratory complexes. These data disclose a novel mechanism by which ERK1/2 regulates mitochondrial function through direct phosphorylation of TFAM.
MAP kinases; phosphorylation; mitochondrial biogenesis; Parkinson disease
Nitrite (NO2–), a dietary constituent and nitric oxide (NO) oxidation product, mediates cardioprotection after ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) in a number of animal models when administered during ischaemia or as a pre-conditioning agent hours to days prior to the ischaemic episode. When present during ischaemia, the reduction of nitrite to bioactive NO by deoxygenated haem proteins accounts for its protective effects. However, the mechanism of nitrite-induced pre-conditioning, a normoxic response which does not appear to require reduction of nitrite to NO, remains unexplored.
Methods and results
Using a model of hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) in cultured rat H9c2 cardiomyocytes, we demonstrate that a transient (30 min) normoxic nitrite treatment significantly attenuates cell death after a hypoxic episode initiated 1 h later. Mechanistically, this protection depends on the activation of protein kinase A, which phosphorylates and inhibits dynamin-related protein 1, the predominant regulator of mitochondrial fission. This results morphologically, in the promotion of mitochondrial fusion and functionally in the augmentation of mitochondrial membrane potential and superoxide production. We identify AMP kinase (AMPK) as a downstream target of the mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated and show that its oxidation and subsequent phosphorylation are essential for cytoprotection, as scavenging of ROS prevents AMPK activation and inhibits nitrite-mediated protection after H/R. The protein kinase A-dependent protection mediated by nitrite is reproduced in an intact isolated rat heart model of I/R.
These data are the first to demonstrate nitrite-dependent normoxic modulation of both mitochondrial morphology and function and reveal a novel signalling pathway responsible for nitrite-mediated cardioprotection.
Ischaemia; Protein kinase A; Pre-conditioning; Nitrite/nitrate; Mitochondria
Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles of crucial importance to the proper functioning of neuronal, cardiac and other cell types dependent upon aerobic efficiency. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in numerous human conditions, to include cancer, metabolic diseases, neurodegeneration, diabetes, and aging. In recent years, mitochondrial turnover by macroautophagy (mitophagy) has captured the limelight, due in part to discoveries that genes linked to Parkinson disease regulate this quality control process. A rapidly growing literature is clarifying effector mechanisms that underlie the process of mitophagy; however, factors that regulate positive or negative cellular outcomes have been less studied. Here, we review the literature on two major pathways that together may determine cellular adaptation vs. cell death in response to mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondrial biogenesis and mitophagy represent two opposing, but coordinated processes that determine mitochondrial content, structure, and function. Recent data indicate that the capacity to undergo mitochondrial biogenesis, which is dysregulated in disease states, may play a key role in determining cell survival following mitophagy-inducing injuries. The current literature on major pathways that regulate mitophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis is summarized, and mechanisms by which the interplay of these two processes may determine cell fate are discussed. We conclude that in primary neurons and other mitochondrially dependent cells, disruptions in any phase of the mitochondrial recycling process can contribute to cellular dysfunction and disease. Given the emerging importance of crosstalk among regulators of mitochondrial function, autophagy, and biogenesis, signaling pathways that coordinate these processes may contribute to therapeutic strategies that target or regulate mitochondrial turnover and regeneration.
mitophagy; cell death; mitochondrial biogenesis; LC3 interacting proteins; parkin; PINK1; AMPK; PGC-1alpha; extracellular signal regulated protein kinase (ERK1/2)
A case of infectious crystalline keratopathy that affects mainly the posterior stroma is presented. Crystalline infiltrates presented after multiple epithelial defects and chronic topical steroid use following a penetrating keratoplasty in this patient. His epithelial defects persisted and given the deep location of the crystalline infiltrates, a penetrating keratoplasty was performed again. Slit-lamp photo demonstrates the crystalline plaque. Confocal microscopy also documents the aggregates of crystal-like structures. Histology slides are also presented that show the disruption of the stromal-Descemet interface and the predominance of pathology confined to the posterior stroma which has been documented in the literature as a rare finding.
Crystalline; keratopathy; stroma; cornea; penetrating keratoplasty
Recognition of injured mitochondria for degradation by macroautophagy is essential for cellular health, but the mechanisms remain poorly understood. Cardiolipin is an inner mitochondrial membrane phospholipid. We found that rotenone, staurosporine, 6-hydroxydopamine and other pro-mitophagy stimuli caused externalization of cardiolipin to the mitochondrial surface in primary cortical neurons and SH-SY5Y cells. RNAi knockdown of cardiolipin synthase or of phospholipid scramblase-3, which transports cardiolipin to the outer mitochondrial membrane, decreased mitochondrial delivery to autophagosomes. Furthermore, we found that the autophagy protein microtubule-associated-protein-1-light chain-3 (LC3), which mediates both autophagosome formation and cargo recognition, contains cardiolipin-binding sites important for the engulfment of mitochondria by the autophagic system. Mutation of LC3 residues predicted as cardiolipin-interaction sites by computational modeling inhibited its participation in mitophagy. These data indicate that redistribution of cardiolipin serves as an “eat-me” signal for the elimination of damaged mitochondria from neuronal cells.
Proper control of mitochondrial turnover is critical for maintenance of cellular energetics under basal and stressed conditions, and for prevention of endogenous oxidative stress. Whole organelle turnover is mediated through macroautophagy, a process by which autophagosomes deliver mitochondria to the lysosome for hydrolytic degradation. While mitochondrial autophagy can occur as part of a nonselective upregulation of autophagy, selective degradation of damaged or unneeded mitochondria (mitophagy) is a rapidly growing area in development, cancer, and neurodegeneration, particularly with regard to Parkinson’s disease. Due to its dynamic nature, and the potential for regulatory perturbation by disease processes, no single technique is sufficient to evaluate mitophagy. Here, we describe several complementary techniques that include electron microscopy, single cell analysis of LC3 fluorescent puncta, and Western blot, each used in conjunction with a flux inhibitor to trap newly formed autophagosomes in order to monitor mitophagy in neuronal cells.
Autophagy; Mitophagy; Electron microscopy; Western Blot; RFP-LC3; GFP-LC3; Immunofluorescence
Age-related neurodegenerative diseases are associated with alterations in gene expression in affected neurons. One of the mechanisms that could account for this is altered subcellular localization of transcription factors, which has been observed in human post-mortem brains of each of the major neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease (PD). The specific mechanisms are yet to be elucidated; however a potential mechanism involves alterations in nuclear transport. In this study, we examined the nucleocytoplasmic trafficking of select transcription factors in response to a PD-relevant oxidative injury, 6-hydroxydopamine (6OHDA). Utilizing a well-established model of ligand-regulated nucleocytoplasmic shuttling, the glucocorticoid receptor, we found that 6OHDA selectively impaired nuclear import through an oxidative mechanism without affecting nuclear export or nuclear retention. Interestingly, impaired nuclear import was selective as Nrf2 (nuclear factor E2-related factor 2) nuclear localization remained intact in 6OHDA-treated cells. Thus, oxidative stress specifically impacts the subcellular localization of some but not all transcription factors, which is consistent with observations in post-mortem PD brains. Our data further implicate a role for altered microtubule dependent trafficking in the differential effects of 6OHDA on transcription factor import. Oxidative disruption of microtubule-dependent nuclear transport may contribute to selective declines in transcriptional responses of aging or diseased dopaminergic cells.
Parkinson’s disease; Nuclear trafficking; 6-Hydroxydopamine; Oxidative stress; Microtubules
In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
LC3; autolysosome; autophagosome; flux; lysosome; phagophore; stress; vacuole
Mitochondrial dysfunction and autophagy are centrally implicated in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Mutations in ATP13A2, which encodes a lysosomal P-type ATPase of unknown function, cause a rare, autosomal recessive parkinsonian syndrome. Lysosomes are essential for autophagy, and autophagic clearance of dysfunctional mitochondria represents an important element of mitochondrial quality control. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that loss of ATP13A2 function will affect mitochondrial function. Knockdown of ATP13A2 led to an increase in mitochondrial mass in primary mouse cortical neurons and SH-SY5Y cells forced into mitochondrial dependence. ATP13A2-deficient cells exhibited increased oxygen consumption without a significant change in steady-state levels of ATP. Mitochondria in knockdown cells exhibited increased fragmentation and increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Basal levels of the autophagosome marker LC3-II were not significantly changed, however, ATP13A2 knockdown cells exhibited decreased autophagic flux, associated with increased levels of phospho-mTOR, and resistance to autophagy induction by rapamycin. The effects of ATP13A2 siRNA on oxygen consumption, mitochondrial mass and ROS production could be mimicked by inhibiting autophagy induction using siRNA to Atg7. We propose that decreased autophagy associated with ATP13A2 deficiency affects mitochondrial quality control, resulting in increased ROS production. These data are the first to implicate loss of ATP13A2 function in mitochondrial maintenance and oxidative stress, lending further support to converging genetic and environmental evidence for mitochondrial dysregulation in PD pathogenesis.
mitochondrial quality control; autophagy; recessive parkinsonism; Kufor-Rakeb syndrome
The study of autophagy is rapidly expanding, and our knowledge of the molecular mechanism and its connections to a wide range of physiological processes has increased substantially in the past decade. The vocabulary associated with autophagy has grown concomitantly. In fact, it is difficult for readers—even those who work in the field—to keep up with the ever-expanding terminology associated with the various autophagy-related processes. Accordingly, we have developed a comprehensive glossary of autophagy-related terms that is meant to provide a quick reference for researchers who need a brief reminder of the regulatory effects of transcription factors and chemical agents that induce or inhibit autophagy, the function of the autophagy-related proteins, and the roles of accessory components and structures that are associated with autophagy.
autophagy; lysosome; mitophagy; pexophagy; stress; vacuole
The past decade in Parkinson's disease (PD) research has been punctuated by numerous advances in understanding genetic factors that contribute to the disease. Common to most of the genetic models of Parkinsonian neurodegeneration are pathologic mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction, secretory vesicle dysfunction and oxidative stress that likely trigger common cell death mechanisms. Whereas presynaptic function is implicated in the function / dysfunction of α-synuclein, the first gene shown to contribute to PD, synaptic function has not comprised a major focus in most other genetic models. However, recent advances in understanding the impact of mutations in parkin and LRRK2 have also yielded insights into synaptic dysfunction as a possible early pathogenic mechanism. Autophagy is a common neuronal response in each of these genetic models of PD, participating in the clearance of protein aggregates and injured mitochondria. However, the potential consequences of autophagy upregulation on synaptic structure and function remain unknown. In this review, we discuss the evidence that supports a role for synaptic dysfunction in the neurodegenerative cascade in PD, and highlight unresolved questions concerning a potential role for autophagy in either pathological or compensatory synaptic remodeling.
Mutations in PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) are associated with a familial syndrome related to Parkinson’s disease (PD). We previously reported that stable neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell lines with reduced expression of endogenous PINK1 exhibit mitochondrial fragmentation, increased mitochondria-derived superoxide, induction of compensatory macroautophagy/mitophagy and a low level of ongoing cell death. Here, we investigated the ability of protein kinase A (PKA) to confer protection in this model, focusing on its subcellular targeting. Either: 1) treatment with pharmacological PKA activators; 2) transient expression of a constitutively active form of mitochondria-targeted PKA; or 3) transient expression of wild-type AKAP1, a scaffold that targets endogenous PKA to mitochondria, reversed each of the phenotypes attributed to loss of PINK1 in SH-SY5Y cells, and rescued parameters of mitochondrial respiratory dysfunction. Mitochondrial and lysosomal changes in primary cortical neurons derived from PINK1 knockout mice or subjected to PINK1 RNAi were also reversed by activation of PKA. PKA phosphorylates the rat dynamin-related protein 1 isoform 1 (Drp1) at serine 656 (homologous to human serine 637), inhibiting its pro-fission function. Mimicking phosphorylation of Drp1 recapitulated many of the protective effects of AKAP1/PKA. These data indicate that redirecting endogenous PKA to mitochondria can compensate for deficiencies in PINK1 function, highlighting the importance of compartmentalized signaling networks in mitochondrial quality control.
PINK1; PKA; AKAP1; neurodegeneration; mitochondria and mitophagy
Neurons are exquisitely dependent upon mitochondrial respiration to support energy-demanding functions. Mechanisms that regulate mitochondrial quality control have recently taken center stage in Parkinson's disease research, particularly the selective degradation of mitochondria by autophagy (mitophagy). Unlike other cells, neurons show limited glycolytic potential, and both insufficient and excessive mitophagy have been linked to neurodegeneration. Kinases implicated in regulating mammalian mitophagy include extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases (ERK1/2) and PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1). Increased expression of full-length PINK1 enhances recruitment of parkin to chemically depolarized mitochondria, resulting in rapid mitochondrial clearance in transformed cell lines. As parkin and PINK1 mutations cause autosomal recessive parkinsonism, potential defects in clearing dysfunctional mitochondria may contribute to mitochondrial abnormalities in disease. Given the unique features of metabolic regulation in neurons, however, mechanisms regulating mitochondrial network stability and the threshold for mitophagy are likely to vary from cells that preferentially utilize aerobic glycolysis. Moreover, removal of the entire mitochondrial complement may represent part of a neuronal cell death pathway. Future work utilizing physiological injuries that affect only a subset of mitochondria would help to elucidate whether defective recognition of damaged mitochondria, or alternatively, inability to maintain or generate healthy mitochondria, play the major roles in parkinsonian neurodegeneration. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 14, 1979–1987.
Recent studies delineate a pathway involving familial Parkinson's disease (PD)-related proteins PINK1 and Parkin, in which PINK1-dependent mitochondrial accumulation of Parkin targets depolarized mitochondria towards degradation through mitophagy. The pathway has been primarily characterized in cells less dependent on mitochondria for energy production than neurons. Here we report that in neurons, unlike other cells, mitochondrial depolarization by carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazone did not induce Parkin translocation to mitochondria or mitophagy. PINK1 overexpression increased basal Parkin accumulation on neuronal mitochondria, but did not sensitize them to depolarization-induced Parkin translocation. Our data suggest that bioenergetic differences between neurons and cultured cell lines contribute to these different responses. In HeLa cells utilizing usual glycolytic metabolism, mitochondrial depolarization robustly triggered Parkin–mitochondrial translocation, but this did not occur in HeLa cells forced into dependence on mitochondrial respiration. Declining ATP levels after mitochondrial depolarization correlated with the absence of induced Parkin–mitochondrial translocation in both HeLa cells and neurons. However, intervention allowing neurons to maintain ATP levels after mitochondrial depolarization only modestly increased Parkin recruitment to mitochondria, without evidence of increased mitophagy. These data suggest that changes in ATP levels are not the sole determinant of the different responses between neurons and other cell types, and imply that additional mechanisms regulate mitophagy in neurons. Since the Parkin–mitophagy pathway is heavily dependent on bioenergetic status, the unique metabolic properties of neurons likely influence the function of this pathway in the pathogenesis of PD.
The peroxiredoxin (PRX) family of antioxidant enzymes helps maintain the intracellular reducing milieu and suppresses apoptosis in non-neuronal cells. However, whether PRX can inhibit neuronal apoptosis through specific signaling mechanisms remains poorly understood. Induction of PRX2, the most abundant neuronal PRX, occurs in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patient brains, but its functional impact is unclear. In the present study, we used the dopaminergic (DA) toxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) to model PD and explore the protective effect and mechanisms of PRX on DA neurons. Of the 2-cysteine PRXs that were tested in MN9D DA neurons, endogenous PRX2 was most beneficial to cell survival. Lentivirus-mediated PRX2 over-expression conferred marked in vitro and in vivo neuroprotection against 6-OHDA toxicity in DA neurons, and preserved motor functions involving the dopamine system in mouse. In addition to its role as an antioxidant enzyme, PRX2 exhibited anti-apoptotic effects in DA neurons via suppression of ASK1-dependent activation of the JNK/c-Jun and p38 pro-death pathways, which are also activated in DA neurons of post-mortem PD brains. PRX2 inhibited 6-OHDA-induced ASK1 activation by modulating the redox status of the endogenous ASK1 inhibitor thioredoxin (Trx). PRX2 over-expression maintained Trx in a reduced state by inhibiting the cysteine thiol-disulfide exchange, thereby preventing its dissociation from ASK1. This study describes a previously undefined mechanism by which redox-sensitive molecules signal via apoptotic pathways in response to PD-relevant toxic stress in DA neurons. Our results also suggest that PRX2 and ASK1 may be potential targets for neuroprotective intervention in PD.
Parkinson’s disease; neuroprotection; peroxiredoxin; apoptosis signaling kinase-1; thioredoxin; cell death
The PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) is a mitochondrially targeted serine–threonine kinase, which is linked to autosomal recessive familial parkinsonism. Current literature implicates PINK1 as a pivotal regulator of mitochondrial quality control, promoting maintenance of respiring mitochondrial networks through cristae stabilization, phosphorylation of chaperones and possibly regulation of mitochondrial transport or autophagy. Pulse—chase studies indicate that PINK1 is rapidly processed into at least two shorter forms, which are distributed in both mitochondrial and cytosolic compartments. Through indirect regulation of mitochondrial proteases and Drp1, PINK1 may act to facilitate localized repair and fusion in response to minor mitochondrial stress. With severe mitochondrial damage, PINK1 facilitates aggregation and clearance of depolarized mitochondria through interactions with Parkin and possibly Beclin1. This switch in function most probably involves altered processing, post-translational modification and/or localization of PINK1, as overexpression of full-length PINK1 is required for mitochondrial Parkin recruitment. Under conditions of PINK1 deficiency, dysregulation of reactive oxygen species, electron transport chain function and calcium homeostasis trigger altered mitochondrial dynamics, indicating compromise of mitochondrial quality control mechanisms. Nevertheless, Parkin- and Beclin1-regulated mitochondrial autophagy remains effective at recycling PINK1-deficient mitochondria; failure of this final tier of mitochondrial quality control contributes to cell death. Thus, PINK1 plays a pivotal, multifactorial role in mitochondrial homeostasis. As autophagic recycling represents the final tier of mitochondrial quality control, whether PINK1 levels are enhanced or reduced, strategies to promote selective mitophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis may prove effective for multiple forms of Parkinson's disease.
Selective mitochondrial degradation through autophagy (mitophagy) has emerged as an important homeostatic mechanism in a variety of organisms and contexts. Complete clearance of mitochondria can be observed during normal maturation of certain mammalian cell types, and during certain forms of neuronal cell death. In recent years, autophagy dysregulation has been implicated in toxin-injured dopaminergic neurons as well as in major genetic models of Parkinson's disease (PD), including α-synuclein, leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), parkin, PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1), and DJ-1. Indeed, PINK1-parkin interactions may form the basis of a mechanism by which dissipation of the inner mitochondrial membrane potential can trigger selective mitochondrial targeting for autophagy. Multiple signals are likely to exist, however, depending upon the trigger for mitophagy. Similarly, the regulation of basal or injury-induced autophagy does not always follow canonical pathways described for nutrient deprivation. Implications of this regulatory diversity are discussed in the context of neuronal function and survival. Further studies are needed to address whether alterations in autophagy regulation play a directly injurious role in PD pathogenesis, or if the observed changes reflect impaired, appropriate, or excessive autophagic responses to other forms of cellular injury.
Trafficking of transcription factors between the cytoplasm and the nucleus is an essential aspect of signal transduction, which is particularly challenging in neurons due to their highly polarized structure. Disruption in the subcellular localization of many proteins, including transcription factors, is observed in affected neurons of human neurodegenerative diseases. In these diseases, there is also growing evidence supporting alterations in nuclear transport as potential mechanisms underlying the observed mislocalization of proteins. Oxidative stress, which plays a key pathogenic role in these diseases, has also been associated with significant alterations in nuclear transport. After providing an overview of the major nuclear import and export pathways and discussing the impact of oxidative injury on nuclear trafficking of proteins, this review synthesizes emerging evidence for altered nuclear transport as a possible mechanism in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Potential strategies to overcome such deficits are also discussed.
Nuclear transport; nuclear pore complex; oxidative stress; neurodegeneration; Parkinson's disease; Alzheimer's disease; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; polyglutamine diseases
PKA puts the brakes on autophagy by inhibiting LC3 recruitment to autophagosomes.
Macroautophagy is a major catabolic pathway that impacts cell survival, differentiation, tumorigenesis, and neurodegeneration. Although bulk degradation sustains carbon sources during starvation, autophagy contributes to shrinkage of differentiated neuronal processes. Identification of autophagy-related genes has spurred rapid advances in understanding the recruitment of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3) in autophagy induction, although braking mechanisms remain less understood. Using mass spectrometry, we identified a direct protein kinase A (PKA) phosphorylation site on LC3 that regulates its participation in autophagy. Both metabolic (rapamycin) and pathological (MPP+) inducers of autophagy caused dephosphorylation of endogenous LC3. The pseudophosphorylated LC3 mutant showed reduced recruitment to autophagosomes, whereas the nonphosphorylatable mutant exhibited enhanced puncta formation. Finally, autophagy-dependent neurite shortening induced by expression of a Parkinson disease–associated G2019S mutation in leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 was inhibited by dibutyryl–cyclic adenosine monophosphate, cytoplasmic expression of the PKA catalytic subunit, or the LC3 phosphorylation mimic. These data demonstrate a role for phosphorylation in regulating LC3 activity.
Dysregulation of mitochondrial structure and function has emerged as a central factor in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease and related parkinsonian disorders (PD). Toxic and environmental injuries and risk factors perturb mitochondrial complex I function, and gene products linked to familial PD often affect mitochondrial biology. Autosomal recessive mutations in PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) cause an L-DOPA responsive parkinsonian syndrome, stimulating extensive interest in the normal neuroprotective and mitoprotective functions of PINK1. Recent data from mammalian and invertebrate model systems converge upon interactions between PINK1 and parkin, as well as DJ-1, α-synuclein and leucine rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2). While all studies to date support a neuroprotective role for wild type, but not mutant PINK1, there is less agreement on subcellular compartmentalization of PINK1 kinase function and whether PINK1 promotes mitochondrial fission or fusion. These controversies are reviewed in the context of the dynamic mitochondrial lifecycle, in which mitochondrial structure and function are continuously modulated not only by the fission-fusion machinery, but also by regulation of biogenesis, axonal/dendritic transport and autophagy. A working model is proposed, in which PINK1 loss of function results in mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS), cristae/respiratory dysfunction and destabilization of calcium homeostasis, which trigger compensatory fission, autophagy and biosynthetic repair pathways that dramatically alter mitochondrial structure. Concurrent strategies to identify pathways that mediate normal PINK1 function and to identify factors that facilitate appropriate compensatory responses are both needed to halt the aging-related penetrance and incidence of familial and sporadic PD.
PINK1; parkin; autophagy; kinases; mitochondria; neurodegeneration; oxidative stress; Parkinson’s disease; mitochondrial fission; calcium dysregulation; electron transport chain; cristae
Alterations in mitochondrial homeostasis have been implicated in the etiology of Parkinson disease (PD) as demonstrated by human tissue studies, cell culture and in vivo genetic and toxin models. Mutations in the genes encoding PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1), Omi/HtrA2 and parkin contribute to rare forms of parkinsonian neurodegeneration. Recently, each of these proteins has been shown to play a normal role in regulating mitochondrial structure, function, fission-fusion dynamics, or turnover (autophagy and biogenesis), promoting neuronal survival. Here, we review the biochemical mechanisms of mitochondrial protection conferred by each of these PD associated gene products in neurons, neuronal cell lines and other cell types. Potential molecular interactions and mitoprotective signaling pathways involving these three PD associated gene products are discussed in the context of mitochondrial quality control, in response to increasing levels of mitochondrial damage. We propose that PINK1, Omi/HtrA2 and parkin participate at different levels in mitochondrial quality control, converging through some overlapping and some distinct steps to maintain a common phenotype of healthy mitochondrial networks.
mitochondria; ser/thr kinases; PINK1; Parkin; Omi/HtrA2; neurotoxin; autophagy; ubiquitin; neurodegeneration; oxidative stress; Parkinson’s disease
Alterations in mitochondrial biology have long been implicated in neurotoxin, and more recently, genetic models of parkinsonian neurodegeneration. In particular, kinase regulation of mitochondrial dynamics and turnover are emerging as central mechanisms at the convergence of neurotoxin, environmental and genetic approaches to studying Parkinson's disease (PD). Kinases that localize to mitochondria during neuronal injury include mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK) such as extracellular signal regulated protein kinases (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK), protein kinase B/Akt, and PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1). Although site(s) of action within mitochondria and specific kinase targets are still unclear, these signaling pathways regulate mitochondrial respiration, transport, fission-fusion, calcium buffering, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, mitochondrial autophagy and apoptotic cell death. In this review, we summarize accelerating experimental evidence gathered over the last decade that implicate a central role for kinase signaling at the mitochondrion in Parkinson's and related neurodegenerative disorders. Interactions involving α-synuclein, leucine rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), DJ-1 and parkin are discussed. Converging mechanisms from different model systems support the concept of common pathways in parkinsonian neurodegeneration that may be amenable to future therapeutic interventions.
autophagy; kinases; mitochondria; neurodegeneration; oxidative stress; Parkinson's disease
Macroautophagy (hereafter, autophagy) plays a critical role in maintaining cellular homeostasis by degrading protein aggregates and dysfunctional/damaged organelles. We recently reported that silencing the recessive familial Parkinson disease gene encoding PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) leads to neuronal cell death accompanied by mitochondrial dysfunction and Drp1-dependent fragmentation. In this model, mitochondrial fission and Beclin 1-dependent autophagy play protective roles, cooperating to sequester and eliminate damaged mitochondria. We discuss the role of superoxide and other reactive oxygen species upstream of mitochondrial depolarization, fission and autophagy in PINK1 knockdown lines. PINK1 deficiency appears to trigger several compensatory responses that together facilitate clearance of depolarized mitochondria, through a mechanism that is further enhanced by increased expression of parkin. These data offer additional insights that broaden the spectrum of potential interactions between PINK1 and parkin with respect to the regulation of mitochondrial homeostasis and mitophagy.
mitochondria; PINK1; autophagy; cell death; parkinson disease; parkin; beclin 1
More than 80 years after iron accumulation was initially described in the substantia nigra (SN) of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, the mechanisms responsible for this phenomenon are still unknown. Similarly, how iron is delivered to its major recipients in the cell – mitochondria and the respiratory complexes – has yet to be elucidated. Here, we report a novel transferrin/transferrin receptor 2 (Tf/TfR2)-mediated iron transport pathway in mitochondria of SN dopamine neurons. We found that TfR2 has a previously uncharacterized mitochondrial targeting sequence that is sufficient to import the protein into these organelles. Importantly, the Tf/TfR2 pathway can deliver Tf bound iron to mitochondria and to the respiratory complex I as well. The pathway is redox-sensitive and oxidation of Tf thiols to disulfides induces release from Tf of highly reactive ferrous iron, which contributes to free radical production. In the rotenone model of PD, Tf accumulates in dopamine neurons, with much of it accumulating in the mitochondria. This is associated with iron deposition in SN, similar to what occurs in PD. In the human SN, TfR2 is also found in mitochondria of dopamine neurons, and in PD there is a dramatic increase of oxidized Tf in SN. Thus, we have discovered a novel mitochondrial iron transport system that goes awry in PD, and which may provide a new target for therapeutic intervention.
Parkinson's disease; Rotenone; Oxidative stress; Mitochondria; Iron; Transferrin