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Mitochondria are important cellular organelles in most metabolic processes and have a highly dynamic nature, undergoing frequent fission and fusion. The dynamic balance between fission and fusion plays critical roles in mitochondrial functions. In recent studies, several large GTPases have been identified as key molecular factors in mitochondrial fission and fusion. Moreover, the posttranslational modifications of these large GTPases, including phosphorylation, ubiquitination and SUMOylation, have been shown to be involved in the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics. Neurons are particularly sensitive and vulnerable to any abnormalities in mitochondrial dynamics, due to their large energy demand and long extended processes. Emerging evidences have thus indicated a strong linkage between mitochondria and neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. In this review, we will describe the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics and its role in neurodegenerative diseases.
Acta Medica Okayama
Okayama University Medical School
CopyrightⒸ 2011 by Okayama University Medical School
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