The rescue of microtubule-dependent traffic recovers mitochondrial function in Parkinson's disease

A. R. Esteves, I. Gozes, S. M. Cardoso*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In Parkinson's disease mitochondrial dysfunction can lead to a deficient ATP supply to microtubule protein motors leading to mitochondrial axonal transport disruption. Compromised axonal transport will then lead to a disorganized distribution of mitochondria and other organelles in the cell, as well as, the accumulation of aggregated proteins like alpha-synuclein. Moreover, axonal transport disruption can trigger synaptic accumulation of autophagosomes packed with damaged mitochondria and protein aggregates promoting synaptic failure.We previously observed that neuronal-like cells with an inherent mitochondrial impairment derived from PD patients contain a disorganized microtubule network, as well as, alpha-synuclein oligomer accumulation. In this work we provide new evidence that an agent that promotes microtubule network assembly, NAP (davunetide), improves microtubule-dependent traffic, restores the autophagic flux and potentiates autophagosome-lysosome fusion leading to autophagic vacuole clearance in Parkinson's disease cells. Moreover, NAP is capable of efficiently reducing alpha-synuclein oligomer content and its sequestration by the mitochondria. Most interestingly, NAP decreases mitochondrial ubiquitination levels, as well as, increases mitochondrial membrane potential indicating a rescue in mitochondrial function.Overall, we demonstrate that by improving microtubule-mediated traffic, we can avoid mitochondrial-induced damage and thus recover cell homeostasis. These results prove that NAP may be a promising therapeutic lead candidate for neurodegenerative diseases that involve axonal transport failure and mitochondrial impairment as hallmarks, like Parkinson's disease and related disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-21
Number of pages15
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Volume1842
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Microtubule network
  • Mitochondria dynamics
  • NAP

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