Enhancing mitophagy as a therapeutic approach for neurodegenerative diseases.
Aman Y., Ryan B., Torsetnes SB., Knapskog A-B., Watne LO., McEwan WA., Fang EF.
Neurodegenerative diseases are highly debilitating illnesses and a growing cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Mitochondrial dysfunction and impairment of mitochondrial-specific autophagy, namely mitophagy, have emerged as important components of the cellular processes underlying neurodegeneration. Defective mitophagy has been highlighted as the cause of the accumulation of damaged mitochondria, which consequently leads to cellular dysfunction and/or death in neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we highlight the recent advances in the molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial homeostasis and mitophagy in neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, we evaluate how mitophagy is altered in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases, as well as in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and the potential of restoring mitophagy as a therapeutic intervention. We also discuss the interlinked connections between mitophagy and innate immunity (e.g., the involvement of Parkin, interferons and TRIM21) as well as the opportunity these pathways provide to develop combinational therapeutic strategies targeting them and related molecular mechanisms in such neurodegenerative diseases.