Considerable evidence indicates that the semiautonomous organelles mitochondria play key roles in the progression of many neurodegenerative disorders. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encodes components of the OXPHOS complex but mutated mtDNA accumulates in cells with aging, which mirrors the increased prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases. This accumulation stems not only from the misreplication of mtDNA and the highly oxidative environment but also from defective mitophagy after fission. In this review, we focus on several pivotal mitochondrial proteins related to mtDNA maintenance (such as ATAD3A and TFAM), mtDNA alterations including mtDNA mutations, mtDNA elimination, and mtDNA release-activated inflammation to understand the crucial role played by mtDNA in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington's disease. Our work outlines novel therapeutic strategies for targeting mtDNA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Pharmacology (medical)