How mitochondrial damage affects cell function.

TitleHow mitochondrial damage affects cell function.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsJames, AM, Murphy, MP
JournalJ Biomed Sci
Issue6 Pt 1
Date Published2002
KeywordsAnimals, Calcium, Cell Death, Cells, DNA, Mitochondrial, Homeostasis, Humans, Mitochondria, Mitochondrial Diseases, Mutation, Oxidative Stress, Phosphorylation, Proteins

The pathophysiology of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diseases is caused by increased cell death and dysfunction due to the accumulation of mutations to mtDNA. While the disruption of oxidative phosphorylation is central to mtDNA diseases, many other factors, such as Ca(2+) dyshomeostasis, increased oxidative stress and defective turnover of mitochondrial proteins, may also contribute. The relative importance of these processes in causing cell dysfunction and death is uncertain. It is also unclear whether these damaging processes lead to the disease phenotype through affecting cell function, increasing cell death or a combination of both. These uncertainties limit our understanding of mtDNA disease pathophysiology and our ability to develop rational therapies. Here, we outline how the accumulation of mtDNA mutations can lead to cell dysfunction by altering oxidative phosphorylation, Ca(2+) homeostasis, oxidative stress and protein turnover and discuss how these processes affect cell function and susceptibility to cell death. A better understanding of these processes will eventually clarify why particular mtDNA mutations cause defined syndromes in some cases but not in others and why the same mutation can lead to different phenotypes.

Alternate JournalJ. Biomed. Sci.
Citation Key10.1159/000064721
PubMed ID12372986