Molecular strategies for targeting antioxidants to mitochondria: therapeutic implications

Antioxid Redox Signal. 2015 Mar 10;22(8):686-729. doi: 10.1089/ars.2014.5952.

Abstract

Mitochondrial function and specifically its implication in cellular redox/oxidative balance is fundamental in controlling the life and death of cells, and has been implicated in a wide range of human pathologies. In this context, mitochondrial therapeutics, particularly those involving mitochondria-targeted antioxidants, have attracted increasing interest as potentially effective therapies for several human diseases. For the past 10 years, great progress has been made in the development and functional testing of molecules that specifically target mitochondria, and there has been special focus on compounds with antioxidant properties. In this review, we will discuss several such strategies, including molecules conjugated with lipophilic cations (e.g., triphenylphosphonium) or rhodamine, conjugates of plant alkaloids, amino-acid- and peptide-based compounds, and liposomes. This area has several major challenges that need to be confronted. Apart from antioxidants and other redox active molecules, current research aims at developing compounds that are capable of modulating other mitochondria-controlled processes, such as apoptosis and autophagy. Multiple chemically different molecular strategies have been developed as delivery tools that offer broad opportunities for mitochondrial manipulation. Additional studies, and particularly in vivo approaches under physiologically relevant conditions, are necessary to confirm the clinical usefulness of these molecules.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Apoptosis
  • Autophagy
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction

Substances

  • Antioxidants