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See detailQuantitative quadruple-label immunofluorescence of mitochondrial and cytoplasmic proteins in single neurons from human midbrain tissue.
Grünewald, Anne UL; Lax, Nichola Z.; Rocha, Mariana C. et al

in Journal of Neuroscience Methods (2014), 232

BACKGROUND: Respiratory chain (RC) deficiencies are found in primary mtDNA diseases. Focal RC defects are also associated with ageing and neurodegenerative disorders, e.g. in substantia nigra (SN) neurons ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Respiratory chain (RC) deficiencies are found in primary mtDNA diseases. Focal RC defects are also associated with ageing and neurodegenerative disorders, e.g. in substantia nigra (SN) neurons from Parkinson's disease patients. In mitochondrial disease and ageing, mtDNA mutational loads vary considerably between neurons necessitating single cell-based assessment of RC deficiencies. Evaluating the full extent of RC deficiency within SN neurons is challenging because their size precludes investigations in serial sections. We developed an assay to measure RC abnormalities in individual SN neurons using quadruple immunofluorescence. NEW METHOD: Using antibodies against subunits of complex I (CI) and IV, porin and tyrosine hydroxylase together with IgG subtype-specific fluorescent labelled secondary antibodies, we quantified the expression of CI and CIV compared to mitochondrial mass in dopaminergic neurons. CI:porin and CIV:porin ratios were determined relative to a standard control. RESULTS: Quantification of expression of complex subunits in midbrain sections from patients with mtDNA disease and known RC deficiencies consistently showed reduced CI:porin and/or CIV:porin ratios. COMPARISON WITH EXISTING METHOD(S): The standard histochemical method to investigate mitochondrial dysfunction, the cytochrome c oxidase/succinate dehydrogenase assay, measures CIV and CII activities. To also study CI in a patient, immunohistology in additional sections, i.e. in different neurons, is required. Our method allows correlation of the expression of CI, CIV and mitochondrial mass at a single cell level. CONCLUSION: Quantitative quadruple-label immunofluorescence is a reliable tool to measure RC deficiencies in individual neurons that will enable new insights in the molecular mechanisms underlying inherited and acquired mitochondrial dysfunction. [less ▲]

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See detailTHAP1, the gene mutated in DYT6 dystonia, autoregulates its own expression.
Erogullari, Alev; Hollstein, Ronja; Seibler, Philip et al

in Biochimica et biophysica acta (2014), 1839(11), 1196-204

THAP1 encodes a transcription factor but its regulation is largely elusive. TOR1A was shown to be repressed by THAP1 in vitro. Notably, mutations in both of these genes lead to dystonia (DYT6 or DYT1 ... [more ▼]

THAP1 encodes a transcription factor but its regulation is largely elusive. TOR1A was shown to be repressed by THAP1 in vitro. Notably, mutations in both of these genes lead to dystonia (DYT6 or DYT1). Surprisingly, expressional changes of TOR1A in THAP1 mutation carriers have not been detected indicating additional levels of regulation. Here, we investigated whether THAP1 is able to autoregulate its own expression. Using in-silico prediction, luciferase reporter gene assays, and (quantitative) chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), we defined the THAP1 minimal promoter to a 480bp-fragment and demonstrated specific binding of THAP1 to this region which resulted in repression of the THAP1 promoter. This autoregulation was disturbed by different DYT6-causing mutations. Two mutants (Ser6Phe, Arg13His) were shown to be less stable than wildtype THAP1 adding to the effect of reduced binding to the THAP1 promoter. Overexpressed THAP1 is preferably degraded through the proteasome. Notably, endogenous THAP1 expression was significantly reduced in cells overexpressing wildtype THAP1 as demonstrated by quantitative PCR. In contrast, higher THAP1 levels were detected in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS)-derived neurons from THAP1 mutation carriers. Thus, we identified a feedback-loop in the regulation of THAP1 expression and demonstrated that mutant THAP1 leads to higher THAP1 expression levels. This compensatory autoregulation may contribute to the mean age at onset in the late teen years or even reduced penetrance in some THAP1 mutation carriers. [less ▲]

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See detailPINK1 loss-of-function mutations affect mitochondrial complex I activity via NdufA10 ubiquinone uncoupling.
Morais, Vanessa A.; Haddad, Dominik; Craessaerts, Katleen et al

in Science (New York, N.Y.) (2014), 344(6180), 203-7

Under resting conditions, Pink1 knockout cells and cells derived from patients with PINK1 mutations display a loss of mitochondrial complex I reductive activity, causing a decrease in the mitochondrial ... [more ▼]

Under resting conditions, Pink1 knockout cells and cells derived from patients with PINK1 mutations display a loss of mitochondrial complex I reductive activity, causing a decrease in the mitochondrial membrane potential. Analyzing the phosphoproteome of complex I in liver and brain from Pink1(-/-) mice, we found specific loss of phosphorylation of serine-250 in complex I subunit NdufA10. Phosphorylation of serine-250 was needed for ubiquinone reduction by complex I. Phosphomimetic NdufA10 reversed Pink1 deficits in mouse knockout cells and rescued mitochondrial depolarization and synaptic transmission defects in pink(B9)-null mutant Drosophila. Complex I deficits and adenosine triphosphate synthesis were also rescued in cells derived from PINK1 patients. Thus, this evolutionary conserved pathway may contribute to the pathogenic cascade that eventually leads to Parkinson's disease in patients with PINK1 mutations. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide association study in musician's dystonia: a risk variant at the arylsulfatase G locus?
Lohmann, Katja; Schmidt, Alexander; Schillert, Arne et al

in Movement Disorders (2014), 29(7), 921-7

Musician's dystonia (MD) affects 1% to 2% of professional musicians and frequently terminates performance careers. It is characterized by loss of voluntary motor control when playing the instrument ... [more ▼]

Musician's dystonia (MD) affects 1% to 2% of professional musicians and frequently terminates performance careers. It is characterized by loss of voluntary motor control when playing the instrument. Little is known about genetic risk factors, although MD or writer's dystonia (WD) occurs in relatives of 20% of MD patients. We conducted a 2-stage genome-wide association study in whites. Genotypes at 557,620 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) passed stringent quality control for 127 patients and 984 controls. Ten SNPs revealed P < 10(-5) and entered the replication phase including 116 MD patients and 125 healthy musicians. A genome-wide significant SNP (P < 5 x 10(-8) ) was also genotyped in 208 German or Dutch WD patients, 1,969 Caucasian, Spanish, and Japanese patients with other forms of focal or segmental dystonia as well as in 2,233 ethnically matched controls. Genome-wide significance with MD was observed for an intronic variant in the arylsulfatase G (ARSG) gene (rs11655081; P = 3.95 x 10(-9) ; odds ratio [OR], 4.33; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.66-7.05). rs11655081 was also associated with WD (P = 2.78 x 10(-2) ) but not with any other focal or segmental dystonia. The allele frequency of rs11655081 varies substantially between different populations. The population stratification in our sample was modest (lambda = 1.07), but the effect size may be overestimated. Using a small but homogenous patient sample, we provide data for a possible association of ARSG with MD. The variant may also contribute to the risk of WD, a form of dystonia that is often found in relatives of MD patients. [less ▲]

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See detailNext-generation phenotyping and genomic incidental findings--reply.
Kasten, Meike; Grünewald, Anne UL; Klein, Christine UL

in JAMA neurology (2013), 70(12), 1590-1

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See detailNext-generation phenotyping using the parkin example: time to catch up with genetics.
Grünewald, Anne UL; Kasten, Meike; Ziegler, Andreas et al

in JAMA neurology (2013), 70(9), 1186-91

IMPORTANCE: Two decades of intense research have led to important insights into the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases, with limited direct clinical impact. While next-generation sequencing has ... [more ▼]

IMPORTANCE: Two decades of intense research have led to important insights into the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases, with limited direct clinical impact. While next-generation sequencing has emerged as a powerful research tool, we hypothesized that systematic exploitation of phenotypic data are lagging behind genetic advances. OBJECTIVES: To use the 15-year experience with parkin-associated Parkinson disease (PD) to evaluate type, quality, and quantity of genetic and phenotypic data and to elucidate clinical or genetic features impacting genetic testing and counseling. EVIDENCE REVIEW: We searched MEDLINE: (1998-2012) using the term parkin AND mutation for English publications about proved parkin-associated PD and at least minimal, individual clinical information excluding digenic cases, and redundant articles. This approach identified 877 articles, of which 196 described patients with PD with confirmed parkin mutations and 127 articles fulfilled our inclusion criteria. Information was extracted using predefined criteria and a consensus approach for questionable details. To evaluate study method differences, we devised a quality score representing the completeness of clinical, demographic, and genetic information. FINDINGS: In the data about 1184 patients, the quality score increased steadily and was driven exclusively by improvements in genetic analyses. By contrast, demographic and clinical content stagnated. The mean age at onset was 9 years lower in index patients with 2 mutant parkin alleles than in heterozygotes. Genotype-phenotype correlation was observed for the number of mutated alleles and dystonia. By contrast, dementia was rare in all parkin-mutation carriers (<3%), despite long disease duration. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Notwithstanding large gaps in phenotypic information content, we identified dystonia and the absence of dementia as "red flags" to be incorporated in counseling guidelines. We propose mandatory minimal criteria for genotype-phenotype studies to facilitate the next breakthrough-following genetics-toward more personalized medicine for genetic conditions, extending well beyond the parkin example. [less ▲]

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See detailProminent psychiatric comorbidity in the dominantly inherited movement disorder myoclonus-dystonia.
Weissbach, Anne; Kasten, Meike; Grünewald, Anne UL et al

in Parkinsonism and Related Disorders (2013), 19(4), 422-5

BACKGROUND: Neurological and psychiatric disorders show clinical overlap suggesting a shared pathophysiological background. We evaluated myoclonus-dystonia, a monogenic movement disorder as a disease ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Neurological and psychiatric disorders show clinical overlap suggesting a shared pathophysiological background. We evaluated myoclonus-dystonia, a monogenic movement disorder as a disease model for inherited psychopathology. METHOD: We investigated 12 SGCE mutation carriers using standardized neurological and psychiatric examinations to assign DSM-IV diagnoses. Furthermore, we analyzed all studies in the Medline database which included psychiatric information on SGCE mutation-positive patients. RESULTS: Of our twelve SGCE mutation carriers, 10 were older than 16 years. Two of them (20%) reported psychiatric diagnoses before our examination, which resulted in at least one psychiatric diagnosis in seven (70%) patients, most frequently anxiety (60%), depression (30%) or both. Substance abuse was observed in 20%, whereas obsessive-compulsive disorders were absent. One mutation carrier showed Axis 2 features. In the literature analysis, the ten studies using standardized tools covering DSM-IV criteria reported prevalences similar to those in our sample. This was three times the frequency of psychiatric disorders detected in 13 studies using clinical history or patient report only. CONCLUSION: About two thirds of SGCE mutation carriers develop psychiatric comorbidity and >80% are previously undiagnosed. [less ▲]

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See detailMortalin mutations are not a frequent cause of early-onset Parkinson disease.
Freimann, Karen; Zschiedrich, Katja; Bruggemann, Norbert et al

in Neurobiology of Aging (2013), 34(11), 269419-20

Dysfunctional mitochondria and the mitochondrial chaperone mortalin (HSPA9, GRP75) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease (PD). We screened 139 early-onset PD (EOPD) patients for ... [more ▼]

Dysfunctional mitochondria and the mitochondrial chaperone mortalin (HSPA9, GRP75) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease (PD). We screened 139 early-onset PD (EOPD) patients for mutations in mortalin revealing one missense change (p.L358P) that was absent in 279 control individuals. We also found one additional missense variant among the controls (p.T333K). Although both missense changes were predicted to be disease causing, we detected no differences in subcellular localization, mitochondrial morphology, or respiratory function between wild-type and mutant mortalin. These findings suggest that variants in mortalin (1) are not a major cause of EOPD; (2) occur in patients and controls; and (3) do not lead to functional impairment of mitochondria. [less ▲]

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See detailPhosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN)-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1)-dependent ubiquitination of endogenous Parkin attenuates mitophagy: study in human primary fibroblasts and induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons.
Rakovic, Aleksandar; Shurkewitsch, Katharina; Seibler, Philip et al

in The Journal of biological chemistry (2013), 288(4), 2223-37

Mutations in the E3 ubiquitin ligase Parkin and the mitochondrial PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) have been identified to cause autosomal recessive forms of familial Parkinson disease, with PINK1 ... [more ▼]

Mutations in the E3 ubiquitin ligase Parkin and the mitochondrial PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) have been identified to cause autosomal recessive forms of familial Parkinson disease, with PINK1 functioning upstream of Parkin in a pathway important for the maintenance of mitochondrial function and morphology. Upon the loss of the mitochondrial membrane potential, Parkin translocates to mitochondria in a PINK1-dependent manner to ubiquitinate mitochondrial proteins. Parkin-mediated polyubiquitination of outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) proteins recruits the ubiquitin- and LC3-binding adaptor protein p62 to mitochondria and induces mitophagy. Although previous studies examined mitophagy in established cell lines through overexpression approaches, there is an imperative to study the role of endogenous Parkin and PINK1 in human-derived and biologically relevant cell models. Here, we demonstrate in human primary fibroblasts and induced pluripotent stem-derived neurons from controls and PINK1 mutation carriers that endogenous levels of Parkin are not sufficient to initiate mitophagy upon loss of the mitochondrial membrane potential, caused by its (self-)ubiquitination, followed by degradation via the ubiquitin proteasome system. Next, we showed differential PINK1-dependent, Parkin-mediated ubiquitination of OMM proteins, which is Parkin dose-dependent and affects primarily OMM proteins of higher molecular mass. In contrast to the situation fibroblasts, we did not detect mitophagy in induced pluripotent stem-derived neurons even upon overexpression of Parkin. Taken together, our data demonstrate that mitophagy differs between human non-neuronal and neuronal cells and between "endogenous" and "Parkin-overexpressing" cellular models. [less ▲]

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See detailGlucocerebrosidase mutations in a Serbian Parkinson's disease population.
Kumar, K. R.; Ramirez, A.; Gobel, A. et al

in European journal of neurology (2013), 20(2), 402-5

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: To screen for glucocerebrosidase (GBA) mutations in a Serbian Parkinson's disease (PD) population. METHODS: Glucocerebrosidase exons 8-11 harbouring the most common mutations were ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: To screen for glucocerebrosidase (GBA) mutations in a Serbian Parkinson's disease (PD) population. METHODS: Glucocerebrosidase exons 8-11 harbouring the most common mutations were sequenced in 360 patients with PD and 348 controls from Serbia. Haplotype analysis was performed for the N370S mutation and compared with German and Ashkenazi Jewish carriers. RESULTS: Glucocerebrosidase mutations were significantly more frequent in patients with PD (21/360; 5.8%) vs. controls (5/348; 1.4%; OR = 4.25; CI, 1.58-11.40; P = 0.0041). Two patients with PD carried homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in GBA. The N370S mutation accounted for about half of the mutated alleles in patients (10/23) but was absent amongst controls. Three novel variants were detected including two non-synonymous variants (D380V, N392S) in the patient group and one synonymous change (V459V) in a control. Carriers of the D409H mutation were also sequenced for H255Q, and all were found to carry the [D409H; H255Q] double-mutant allele. Genotyping suggested a common haplotype for all N370S carriers. CONCLUSION: Glucocerebrosidase mutations represent a PD risk factor in the Serbian population. [less ▲]

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See detailProbenecid potentiates MPTP/MPP+ toxicity by interference with cellular energy metabolism.
Alvarez-Fischer, Daniel; Noelker, Carmen; Grünewald, Anne UL et al

in Journal of neurochemistry (2013), 127(6), 782-92

The uricosuric agent probenecid is co-administered with the dopaminergic neurotoxin MPTP to produce a chronic mouse model of Parkinson's disease. It has been proposed that probenecid serves to elevate ... [more ▼]

The uricosuric agent probenecid is co-administered with the dopaminergic neurotoxin MPTP to produce a chronic mouse model of Parkinson's disease. It has been proposed that probenecid serves to elevate concentrations of MPTP in the brain by reducing renal elimination of the toxin. However, this mechanism has never been formally demonstrated to date and is questioned by our previous data showing that intracerebral concentrations of MPP(+), the active metabolite of MPTP, are not modified by co-injection of probenecid. In this study, we investigated the potentiating effects of probenecid in vivo and in vitro arguing against the possibility of altered metabolism or impaired renal elimination of MPTP. We find that probenecid (i) is toxic in itself to several neuronal populations apart from dopaminergic neurons, and (ii) that it also potentiates the effects of other mitochondrial complex I inhibitors such as rotenone. On a mechanistic level, we show that probenecid is able to lower intracellular ATP concentrations and that its toxic action on neuronal cells can be reversed by extracellular ATP. Probenecid can potentiate the effect of mitochondrial toxins due to its impact on ATP metabolism and could therefore be useful to model atypical parkinsonian syndromes. [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 detailBee venom and its component apamin as neuroprotective agents in a Parkinson disease mouse model.
Alvarez-Fischer, Daniel; Noelker, Carmen; Vulinovic, Franca et al

in PloS one (2013), 8(4), 61700

Bee venom has recently been suggested to possess beneficial effects in the treatment of Parkinson disease (PD). For instance, it has been observed that bilateral acupoint stimulation of lower hind limbs ... [more ▼]

Bee venom has recently been suggested to possess beneficial effects in the treatment of Parkinson disease (PD). For instance, it has been observed that bilateral acupoint stimulation of lower hind limbs with bee venom was protective in the acute 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of PD. In particular, a specific component of bee venom, apamin, has previously been shown to have protective effects on dopaminergic neurons in vitro. However, no information regarding a potential protective action of apamin in animal models of PD is available to date. The specific goals of the present study were to (i) establish that the protective effect of bee venom for dopaminergic neurons is not restricted to acupoint stimulation, but can also be observed using a more conventional mode of administration and to (ii) demonstrate that apamin can mimic the protective effects of a bee venom treatment on dopaminergic neurons. Using the chronic mouse model of MPTP/probenecid, we show that bee venom provides sustained protection in an animal model that mimics the chronic degenerative process of PD. Apamin, however, reproduced these protective effects only partially, suggesting that other components of bee venom enhance the protective action of the peptide. [less ▲]

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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 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 detailMutations in the phospholipid remodeling gene SERAC1 impair mitochondrial function and intracellular cholesterol trafficking and cause dystonia and deafness.
Wortmann, Saskia B.; Vaz, Frederic M.; Gardeitchik, Thatjana et al

in Nature genetics (2012), 44(7), 797-802

Using exome sequencing, we identify SERAC1 mutations as the cause of MEGDEL syndrome, a recessive disorder of dystonia and deafness with Leigh-like syndrome, impaired oxidative phosphorylation and 3 ... [more ▼]

Using exome sequencing, we identify SERAC1 mutations as the cause of MEGDEL syndrome, a recessive disorder of dystonia and deafness with Leigh-like syndrome, impaired oxidative phosphorylation and 3-methylglutaconic aciduria. We localized SERAC1 at the interface between the mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum in the mitochondria-associated membrane fraction that is essential for phospholipid exchange. A phospholipid analysis in patient fibroblasts showed elevated concentrations of phosphatidylglycerol-34:1 (where the species nomenclature denotes the number of carbon atoms in the two acyl chains:number of double bonds in the two acyl groups) and decreased concentrations of phosphatidylglycerol-36:1 species, resulting in an altered cardiolipin subspecies composition. We also detected low concentrations of bis(monoacyl-glycerol)-phosphate, leading to the accumulation of free cholesterol, as shown by abnormal filipin staining. Complementation of patient fibroblasts with wild-type human SERAC1 by lentiviral infection led to a decrease and partial normalization of the mean ratio of phosphatidylglycerol-34:1 to phosphatidylglycerol-36:1. Our data identify SERAC1 as a key player in the phosphatidylglycerol remodeling that is essential for both mitochondrial function and intracellular cholesterol trafficking. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetics of Parkinson's disease.
Kumar, Kishore R.; Djarmati-Westenberger, Ana; Grünewald, Anne UL

in Seminars in neurology (2011), 31(5), 433-40

The identification of genes contributing to Parkinson's disease (PD) has allowed for an improved understanding of the underlying pathogenesis of the disorder. The authors review the rapidly growing field ... [more ▼]

The identification of genes contributing to Parkinson's disease (PD) has allowed for an improved understanding of the underlying pathogenesis of the disorder. The authors review the rapidly growing field of PD genetics, with a focus on the clinical, genetic, and pathophysiologic features of well-validated monogenic forms of PD caused by mutations in the SNCA, LRRK2, PARKIN, PINK1, DJ-1, and ATP13A2 genes. In addition, they discuss mutations in the GBA gene, which increase susceptibility for PD. The authors also evaluate the implications of genome-wide association studies and stem cell-derived disease models and give recommendations for genetic testing. [less ▲]

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See detailMutations in PINK1 and Parkin impair ubiquitination of Mitofusins in human fibroblasts.
Rakovic, Aleksandar; Grünewald, Anne UL; Kottwitz, Jan et al

in PloS one (2011), 6(3), 16746

PINK1 and Parkin mutations cause recessive Parkinson's disease (PD). In Drosophila and SH-SY5Y cells, Parkin is recruited by PINK1 to damaged mitochondria, where it ubiquitinates Mitofusins and ... [more ▼]

PINK1 and Parkin mutations cause recessive Parkinson's disease (PD). In Drosophila and SH-SY5Y cells, Parkin is recruited by PINK1 to damaged mitochondria, where it ubiquitinates Mitofusins and consequently promotes mitochondrial fission and mitophagy.Here, we investigated the impact of mutations in endogenous PINK1 and Parkin on the ubiquitination of mitochondrial fusion and fission factors and the mitochondrial network structure. Treating control fibroblasts with mitochondrial membrane potential (Deltapsi) inhibitors or H(2)O(2) resulted in ubiquitination of Mfn1/2 but not of OPA1 or Fis1. Ubiquitination of Mitofusins through the PINK1/Parkin pathway was observed within 1 h of treatment. Upon combined inhibition of Deltapsi and the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS), no ubiquitination of Mitofusins was detected. Regarding morphological changes, we observed a trend towards increased mitochondrial branching in PD patient cells upon mitochondrial stress.For the first time in PD patient-derived cells, we demonstrate that mutations in PINK1 and Parkin impair ubiquitination of Mitofusins. In the presence of UPS inhibitors, ubiquitinated Mitofusin is deubiquitinated by the UPS but not degraded, suggesting that the UPS is involved in Mitofusin degradation. [less ▲]

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See detailBioenergetic consequences of PINK1 mutations in Parkinson disease.
Abramov, Andrey Yurevich; Gegg, Matthew; Grünewald, Anne UL et al

in PloS one (2011), 6(10), 25622

BACKGROUND: Mutations of the gene for PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) are a cause of familial Parkinson's disease (PD). PINK1 protein has been localised to mitochondria and PINK1 gene knockout models ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Mutations of the gene for PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) are a cause of familial Parkinson's disease (PD). PINK1 protein has been localised to mitochondria and PINK1 gene knockout models exhibit abnormal mitochondrial function. The purpose of this study was to determine whether cells derived from PD patients with a range of PINK1 mutations demonstrate similar defects of mitochondrial function, whether the nature and severity of the abnormalities vary between mutations and correlate with clinical features. METHODOLOGY: We investigated mitochondrial bioenergetics in live fibroblasts from PINK1 mutation patients using single cell techniques. We found that fibroblasts from PINK1 mutation patients had significant defects of bioenergetics including reduced mitochondrial membrane potential, altered redox state, a respiratory deficiency that was determined by substrate availability, and enhanced sensitivity to calcium stimulation and associated mitochondrial permeability pore opening. There was an increase in the basal rate of free radical production in the mutant cells. The pattern and severity of abnormality varied between different mutations, and the less severe defects in these cells were associated with later age of onset of PD. CONCLUSIONS: The results provide insight into the molecular pathology of PINK1 mutations in PD and also confirm the critical role of substrate availability in determining the biochemical phenotype--thereby offering the potential for novel therapeutic strategies to circumvent these abnormalities. [less ▲]

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See detailPINK1-interacting proteins: Proteomic analysis of overexpressed PINK1
Rakovic, Aleksandar; Grünewald, Anne UL; Voges, Lisa et al

in Parkinsons Dis (2011), 2011

Recent publications suggest that the Parkinson's disease- (PD-) related PINK1/Parkin pathway promotes elimination of dysfunctional mitochondria by autophagy. We used tandem affinity purification (TAP ... [more ▼]

Recent publications suggest that the Parkinson's disease- (PD-) related PINK1/Parkin pathway promotes elimination of dysfunctional mitochondria by autophagy. We used tandem affinity purification (TAP), SDS-PAGE, and mass spectrometry as a first step towards identification of possible substrates for PINK1. The cellular abundance of selected identified interactors was investigated by Western blotting. Furthermore, one candidate gene was sequenced in 46 patients with atypical PD. In addition to two known binding partners (HSP90, CDC37), 12 proteins were identified using the TAP assay; four of which are mitochondrially localized (GRP75, HSP60, LRPPRC, and TUFM). Western blot analysis showed no differences in cellular abundance of these proteins comparing PINK1 mutant and control fibroblasts. When sequencing LRPPRC, four exonic synonymous changes and 20 polymorphisms in noncoding regions were detected. Our study provides a list of putative PINK1 binding partners, confirming previously described interactions, but also introducing novel mitochondrial proteins as potential components of the PINK1/Parkin mitophagy pathway. [less ▲]

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