The pathogenic mechanisms underlying Parkinson's disease (PD)/parkinsonism affect mitochondrial and endolysosomal trafficking. The retromer is required to retrieve some proteins from endosomes to the Golgi and plasma membrane. Here, we discuss how retromer-dependent retrieval also affects ceramide metabolism. Compelling studies across PD models in Drosophila and mammalian neurons reveal a pathogenic cascade implicating retromer dysfunction and mitochondrial defects. We argue that ceramides may play a critical role in the pathobiology based on the studies of PLA2G6 and VPS35 in Drosophila mutants and human knock-down cells. In addition, pathogenic variants in many lysosomal storage disorder genes have recently been associated with PD, suggesting a potential overlap between the pathogenic mechanisms underlying these disorders. We propose that disruption of ceramide metabolism may affect endolysosomal and mitochondrial function, and plays an important role in PD/parkinsonism.
Keywords: PLA2G6; Vps35; desipramine; endolysosomal trafficking; lysosomal storage diseases; mitochondria; myriocin; retromer; synuclein.
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