Strategies for fighting mitochondrial diseases.

TitleStrategies for fighting mitochondrial diseases.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsViscomi, C, Zeviani, M
JournalJ Intern Med
Date Published2020 Feb 25

Mitochondrial diseases are extremely heterogeneous genetic conditions characterized by faulty oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos). OxPhos deficiency can be the result of mutation in mtDNA genes, encoding either proteins (13 subunits of the mitochondrial complexes I, III, IV and V) or the tRNA and rRNA components of the in situ mtDNA translation. The remaining mitochondrial disease genes are in the nucleus, encoding proteins with a huge variety of functions, from structural subunits of the mitochondrial complexes, to factors involved in their formation and regulation, components of the mtDNA replication and expression machinery, biosynthetic enzymes for the biosynthesis or incorporation of prosthetic groups, components of the mitochondrial quality control and proteostasis, enzymes involved in the clearance of toxic compounds, factors involved in the formation of the lipid milieu, etc. These different functions represent potential targets for "general" therapeutic interventions, as they may be adapted to a number of different mitochondrial conditions. This is in contrast with "tailored", personalized therapeutic approaches, such as gene therapy, cell therapy and organ replacement, that can be useful only for individual conditions. This review will present the most recent concepts emerged from preclinical work and the attempts to translate them into the clinics. The common notion that mitochondrial disorders have no cure is currently challenged by a massive effort of scientists and clinicians, and we do expect that thanks to this intensive investigation work, tangible results for the development of strategies amenable to the treatment of patients with these tremendously difficult conditions are not so far away.

Alternate JournalJ. Intern. Med.
Citation Key10.1111/joim.13046
PubMed ID32100338