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See detailNew insights into the complex role of mitochondria in Parkinson's disease
Grünewald, Anne UL; Kumar, Kishore R; Sue, Carolyn M

in Progress in Neurobiology (2019), 177

New discoveries providing insights into mitochondrial bioenergetics, their dynamic interactions as well as their role in cellular homeostasis have dramatically advanced our understanding of the ... [more ▼]

New discoveries providing insights into mitochondrial bioenergetics, their dynamic interactions as well as their role in cellular homeostasis have dramatically advanced our understanding of the neurodegenerative process of Parkinson's disease (PD). Respiratory chain impairment is a key feature in sporadic PD patients and there is growing evidence that links proteins encoded by PD-associated genes to disturbances in mitochondrial function. Against the backdrop of latest advances in the development of PD treatments that target mitochondria, we aim to give an overview of the literature published in the last three decades on the significance of mitochondria in the pathogenesis of PD. We describe the contribution of mitochondrial genome alterations and PD-associated genes to mitochondrial maintenance. We highlight mitophagy as a key mechanism in neurodegeneration. Moreover, we focus on the reciprocal interaction between alpha-synuclein aggregation and mitochondrial dysfunction. We discuss a novel trafficking pathway involving mitochondrial-derived vesicles within the context of PD and provide a synopsis of the most recently emerging topics in PD research with respect to mitochondria. This includes the relationship between mitochondria and cell-mediated immunity, the ER-mitochondria axis, sirtuin-mediated mitochondrial stress response and the role of micro RNAs in the aetiology of PD. In addition, recent studies have challenged the neuro-centric view of PD pathology, moving microglia and astrocytes into the research spotlight. Greater insights into these mechanisms may hold the key for the development of novel targeted therapies, addressing the need for a disease-modifying treatment, which has remained elusive to date. [less ▲]

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See detailTargeted next generation sequencing in SPAST-negative hereditary spastic paraplegia.
Kumar, Kishore R.; Blair, Nicholas F.; Vandebona, Himesha et al

in Journal of neurology (2013), 260(10), 2516-22

Molecular characterization is important for an accurate diagnosis in hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). Mutations in the gene SPAST (SPG4) are the most common cause of autosomal dominant forms. We ... [more ▼]

Molecular characterization is important for an accurate diagnosis in hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). Mutations in the gene SPAST (SPG4) are the most common cause of autosomal dominant forms. We performed targeted next generation sequencing (NGS) in a SPAST-negative HSP sample. Forty-four consecutive HSP patients were recruited from an adult neurogenetics clinic in Sydney, Australia. SPAST mutations were confirmed in 17 subjects, and therefore 27 SPAST-negative patients were entered into this study. Patients were screened according to mode of inheritance using a PCR-based library and NGS (Roche Junior 454 sequencing platform). The screening panel included ten autosomal dominant (AD) and nine autosomal recessive (AR) HSP-causing genes. A genetic cause for HSP was identified in 25.9 % (7/27) of patients, including 1/12 classified as AD and 6/15 as AR or sporadic inheritance. Several forms of HSP were identified, including one patient with SPG31, four with SPG7 (with one novel SPG7 mutation) and two with SPG5 (including two novel CYP7B1 frameshift mutations). Additional clinical features were noted, including optic atrophy and ataxia for patients with SPG5 and ataxia and a chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia-like phenotype for SPG7. This protocol enabled the identification of a genetic cause in approximately 25 % of patients in whom one of the most common genetic forms of HSP (SPG4) was excluded. Targeted NGS may be a useful method to screen for mutations in multiple genes associated with HSP. More studies are warranted to determine the optimal approach to achieve a genetic diagnosis in this condition. [less ▲]

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See detailTwo faces of the same coin: benign familial infantile seizures and paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia caused by PRRT2 mutations.
Schmidt, Alexander; Kumar, Kishore R.; Redyk, Katharina et al

in Archives of neurology (2012), 69(5), 668-70

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See detailATP13A2 mutations impair mitochondrial function in fibroblasts from patients with Kufor-Rakeb syndrome.
Grünewald, Anne UL; Arns, Bjorn; Seibler, Philip et al

in Neurobiology of aging (2012), 33(8), 18431-7

Mutations in ATP13A2 cause autosomal-recessive parkinsonism (Kufor-Rakeb syndrome; KRS). Because several other parkinsonism-associated proteins have been connected to mitochondrial function and mitophagy ... [more ▼]

Mutations in ATP13A2 cause autosomal-recessive parkinsonism (Kufor-Rakeb syndrome; KRS). Because several other parkinsonism-associated proteins have been connected to mitochondrial function and mitophagy, we studied the impact of endogenous mutations in ATPase type 13A2 (ATP13A2) on mitochondria in fibroblasts from KRS patients compared with controls. In patients, we detected decreased adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis rates, increased mitochondrial DNA levels, a higher frequency of mitochondrial DNA lesions, increased oxygen consumption rates, and increased fragmentation of the mitochondrial network. Importantly, overexpression of wild-type ATP13A2 rescued the respiration phenotype. These findings collectively suggest that ATP13A2 contributes to the maintenance of a healthy mitochondrial pool, supporting the hypothesis that impaired mitochondrial clearance represents an important pathogenic mechanism underlying KRS. [less ▲]

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See detailMutant Parkin impairs mitochondrial function and morphology in human fibroblasts.
Grünewald, Anne UL; Voges, Lisa; Rakovic, Aleksandar et al

in PloS one (2010), 5(9), 12962

BACKGROUND: Mutations in Parkin are the most common cause of autosomal recessive Parkinson disease (PD). The mitochondrially localized E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase Parkin has been reported to be involved ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Mutations in Parkin are the most common cause of autosomal recessive Parkinson disease (PD). The mitochondrially localized E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase Parkin has been reported to be involved in respiratory chain function and mitochondrial dynamics. More recent publications also described a link between Parkin and mitophagy. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we investigated the impact of Parkin mutations on mitochondrial function and morphology in a human cellular model. Fibroblasts were obtained from three members of an Italian PD family with two mutations in Parkin (homozygous c.1072delT, homozygous delEx7, compound-heterozygous c.1072delT/delEx7), as well as from two relatives without mutations. Furthermore, three unrelated compound-heterozygous patients (delEx3-4/duplEx7-12, delEx4/c.924C>T and delEx1/c.924C>T) and three unrelated age-matched controls were included. Fibroblasts were cultured under basal or paraquat-induced oxidative stress conditions. ATP synthesis rates and cellular levels were detected luminometrically. Activities of complexes I-IV and citrate synthase were measured spectrophotometrically in mitochondrial preparations or cell lysates. The mitochondrial membrane potential was measured with 5,5',6,6'-tetrachloro-1,1',3,3'-tetraethylbenzimidazolylcarbocyanine iodide. Oxidative stress levels were investigated with the OxyBlot technique. The mitochondrial network was investigated immunocytochemically and the degree of branching was determined with image processing methods. We observed a decrease in the production and overall concentration of ATP coinciding with increased mitochondrial mass in Parkin-mutant fibroblasts. After an oxidative insult, the membrane potential decreased in patient cells but not in controls. We further determined higher levels of oxidized proteins in the mutants both under basal and stress conditions. The degree of mitochondrial network branching was comparable in mutants and controls under basal conditions and decreased to a similar extent under paraquat-induced stress. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that Parkin mutations cause abnormal mitochondrial function and morphology in non-neuronal human cells. [less ▲]

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