Current perspective of mitochondrial biology in Parkinson's disease

Navneet Ammal Kaidery, Bobby Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder characterized by preferential loss of dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta and the presence of Lewy bodies containing α-synuclein. Although the cause of PD remains elusive, remarkable advances have been made in understanding the possible causative mechanisms of PD pathogenesis. An explosion of discoveries during the past two decades has led to the identification of several autosomal dominant and recessive genes that cause familial forms of PD. The investigations of these familial PD gene products have shed considerable insights into the molecular pathogenesis of the more common sporadic PD. A growing body of evidence suggests that the etiology of PD is multifactorial and involves a complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors. Substantial evidence from human tissues, genetic and toxin-induced animal and cellular models indicates that mitochondrial dysfunction plays a central role in the pathophysiology of PD. Deficits in mitochondrial functions due to bioenergetics defects, alterations in the mitochondrial DNA, generation of reactive oxygen species, aberrant calcium homeostasis, and anomalies in mitochondrial dynamics and quality control are implicated in the underlying mechanisms of neuronal cell death in PD. In this review, we discuss how familial PD-linked genes and environmental factors interface the pathways regulating mitochondrial functions and thereby potentially converge both familial and sporadic PD at the level of mitochondrial integrity. We also provide an overview of the status of therapeutic strategies targeting mitochondrial dysfunction in PD. Unraveling potential pathways that influence mitochondrial homeostasis in PD may hold the key to therapeutic intervention for this debilitating neurodegenerative movement disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-113
Number of pages23
JournalNeurochemistry International
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Mitochondrial DNA
  • Mitochondrial dynamics
  • Oxidative phosphorylation
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Permeability transition pore
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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