Cellular and Molecular Responses to Mitochondrial DNA Deletions in Kearns-Sayre Syndrome: Some Underlying Mechanisms

Mol Neurobiol. 2024 Jan 15. doi: 10.1007/s12035-024-03938-7. Online ahead of print.


Kearns-Sayre syndrome (KSS) is a rare multisystem mitochondrial disorder. It is caused by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) rearrangements, mostly large-scale deletions of 1.1-10 kb. These deletions primarily affect energy supply through impaired oxidative phosphorylation and reduced ATP production. This impairment gives rise to dysfunction of several tissues, in particular those with high energy demand like brain and muscles. Over the past decades, changes in respiratory chain complexes and energy metabolism have been emphasized, whereas little attention has been paid to other reports on ROS overproduction, protein synthesis inhibition, myelin vacuolation, demyelination, autophagy, apoptosis, and involvement of lipid raft and oligodendrocytes in KSS. Therefore, this paper draws attention towards these relatively underemphasized findings that might further clarify the pathologic cascades following deletions in the mtDNA.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Autophagy; Lipid raft; Myelin Vacuolation; Oligodendrocyte; Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS).