PerspectiveCell death

Nitric Oxide Links Mitochondrial Fission to Alzheimer’s Disease

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Sci. Signal.  05 May 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 69, pp. pe29
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.269pe29

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Mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark of β-amyloid (Aβ)–induced neuronal injury in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurotoxic Aβ peptide, thought to be a key mediator of Alzheimer’s disease, may be imported into human brain mitochondria, where it inhibits key enzymes of respiratory metabolism. Nitric oxide (NO) produced in response to Aβ induces S-nitrosylation of the mitochondrial division protein, dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp-1), which leads to excessive mitochondrial fission, synaptic loss, and neuronal damage. Furthermore, brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease contain high amounts of S-nitrosylated Drp-1. Aβ-dependent mitochondrial fragmentation likely enhances the decline in bioenergetic capacity of damaged mitochondria and therefore contributes to neuronal injury and pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease.

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