Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. About 2% of the population above the age of 60 is affected by the disease. The pathological hallmarks of the disease include the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and the presence of Lewy bodies that are made of α-synuclein. Several theories have been suggested for the pathogenesis of PD, of which mitochondrial dysfunction plays a pivotal role in both sporadic and familial forms of the disease. Dysfunction of the mitochondria that is caused by bioenergetic defects, mutations in mitochondrial DNA, nuclear DNA gene mutations linked to mitochondria, and changes in dynamics of the mitochondria such fusion or fission, changes in size and morphology, alterations in trafficking or transport, altered movement of mitochondria, impairment of transcription, and the presence of mutated proteins associated with mitochondria are implicated in PD. In this review, we provide a detailed overview of the mechanisms that can cause mitochondrial dysfunction in PD. We bring to the forefront, new signaling pathways such as the retromer-trafficking pathway and its implication in the disease and also provide a brief overview of therapeutic strategies to improve mitochondrial defects in PD. Bioenergetic defects, mutations in mitochondrial DNA, nuclear DNA gene mutations, alterations in mitochondrial dynamics, alterations in trafficking/transport and mitochondrial movement, abnormal size and morphology, impairment of transcription and the presence of mutated proteins associated with mitochondria are implicated in PD. In this review, we focus on the mechanisms underlying mitochondrial dysfunction in PD and bring to the forefront new signaling pathways that may be involved in PD. We also provide an overview of therapeutic strategies to improve mitochondrial defects in PD. This article is part of a special issue on Parkinson disease.
Keywords: MAM; DJ1; HTRA2; PINK1; VPS35; α-synuclein.
© 2016 International Society for Neurochemistry.