Epigenetic regulation of mitochondrial function in neurodegenerative disease: New insights from advances in genomic technologies

Neurosci Lett. 2016 Jun 20;625:47-55. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2016.02.013. Epub 2016 Feb 10.


The field of mitochondrial epigenetics has received increased attention in recent years and changes in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) methylation has been implicated in a number of diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. However, current publications have been limited by the use of global or targeted methods of measuring DNA methylation. In this review, we discuss current findings in mitochondrial epigenetics as well as its potential role as a regulator of mitochondria within the brain. Finally, we summarize the current technologies best suited to capturing mtDNA methylation, and how a move towards whole epigenome sequencing of mtDNA may help to advance our current understanding of the field.

Keywords: AD; Alzheimer's disease; DNA methylation; Epigenetics; Mitochondria; mtDNA.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • DNA Methylation*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Epigenomics / methods*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • DNA, Mitochondrial