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S-nitrosylation of Drp1 links excessive mitochondrial fission to neuronal injury in neurodegeneration.

Research paper by Tomohiro T Nakamura, Piotr P Cieplak, Dong-Hyung DH Cho, Adam A Godzik, Stuart A SA Lipton

Indexed on: 08 May '10Published on: 08 May '10Published in: Mitochondrion



Abstract

Neurons are known to use large amounts of energy for their normal function and activity. In order to meet this demand, mitochondrial fission, fusion, and movement events (mitochondrial dynamics) control mitochondrial morphology, facilitating biogenesis and proper distribution of mitochondria within neurons. In contrast, dysfunction in mitochondrial dynamics results in reduced cell bioenergetics and thus contributes to neuronal injury and death in many neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease. We recently reported that amyloid-beta peptide, thought to be a key mediator of AD pathogenesis, engenders S-nitrosylation and thus hyperactivation of the mitochondrial fission protein Drp1. This activation leads to excessive mitochondrial fragmentation, bioenergetic compromise, and synaptic damage in models of AD. Here, we provide an extended commentary on our findings of nitric oxide-mediated abnormal mitochondrial dynamics.