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The emergence of the mitochondrial genome as a partial regulator of nuclear function is providing new insights into the genetic mechanisms underlying age-related complex disease

Horan, Martin P. and Cooper, David Neil 2014. The emergence of the mitochondrial genome as a partial regulator of nuclear function is providing new insights into the genetic mechanisms underlying age-related complex disease. Human Genetics 133 (4) , pp. 435-458. 10.1007/s00439-013-1402-4

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Abstract

Mitochondrial malfunction appears to be intimately associated with age and age-related complex disorders but the precise pathological relevance of such malfunction remains unclear. Mitochondrial, and more specifically bioenergetic, malfunction is commonly encountered in cancer, degenerative disorders and aging. The identification of a mitochondrial–nuclear retrograde signaling pathway in yeast has facilitated the study of the corresponding retrograde signaling mechanisms induced in response to mitochondrial malfunction in mammals including human. Mitochondrial–nuclear crosstalk is critical for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis, and some mitochondrial DNA mutations may perturb crosstalk signaling. However, ascertaining whether mitochondrial malfunction is a cause or a consequence of disease development will be key to determining whether or not impaired crosstalk signaling is of direct pathological and hence therapeutic relevance. Here, we review what is known about the nuclear adaptive compensatory mechanisms induced in response to mitochondrial malfunction. We discuss the role of mitochondrial DNA variants in modulating the penetrance of human inherited disease caused by mutations in the nuclear genome and explore the underlying mechanisms by which they influence the retrograde response. We conclude that mitochondrial DNA variants have the potential to induce molecular signals through the mitochondrial–nuclear crosstalk mechanism, thereby promoting nuclear compensation in response to mitochondrial malfunction. The implications for the development of genetic or pharmaceutical interventions for the treatment of mitochondrial malfunction in complex disease are also explored.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0340-6717
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2019 11:33
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/61468

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