Wolfram syndrome: MAMs' connection?

Cell Death Dis. 2018 Mar 6;9(3):364. doi: 10.1038/s41419-018-0406-3.


Wolfram syndrome (WS) is a rare neurodegenerative disease, the main pathological hallmarks of which associate with diabetes, optic atrophy, and deafness. Other symptoms may be identified in some but not all patients. Prognosis is poor, with death occurring around 35 years of age. To date, no treatment is available. WS was first described as a mitochondriopathy. However, the localization of the protein on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane challenged this hypothesis. ER contacts mitochondria to ensure effective Ca2+ transfer, lipids transfer, and apoptosis within stabilized and functionalized microdomains, termed "mitochondria-associated ER membranes" (MAMs). Two types of WS are characterized so far and Wolfram syndrome type 2 is due to mutation in CISD2, a protein mostly expressed in MAMs. The aim of the present review is to collect evidences showing that WS is indeed a mitochondriopathy, with established MAM dysfunction, and thus share commonalities with several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, as well as metabolic diseases, such as diabetes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Membranes / metabolism*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Wolfram Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Wolfram Syndrome / pathology*
  • Wolfram Syndrome / physiopathology