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Mitochondrial dynamics in neurodegeneration: from cell death to energetic states

Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8M5, Canada

Special Issues: Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Diseases

From Parkinson's disease to an ischemic stroke, a consistently reoccurring theme in the context of neuronal degeneration is the dysfunction of mitochondria as the underlying factor. Insight into the mechanistic basis for mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative disorders has allowed the theme of mitochondrial dynamics to be highlighted as a central player. The precise balance of mitochondrial dynamics is among the most critical features for the juxtaposed processes of cell death and survival. More recently, studies have allowed mitochondrial shape to emerge as a key regulator of respiratory efficiency that can enforce the bioenergetic status of cells and thereby determine cell fate. Here we review the most current advances that provide an explanation for the long-standing question of how mitochondrial shape can impact cellular metabolism. Furthermore, we discuss the implications of an imbalance in mitochondrial dynamics in neurodegenerative disorders.
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Keywords mitochondrial dynamics; cristae architecture; bioenergetics; ATP production; cell survival; neurodegeneration

Citation: Mireille Khacho, Ruth S. Slack. Mitochondrial dynamics in neurodegeneration: from cell death to energetic states. AIMS Molecular Science, 2015, 2(2): 161-174. doi: 10.3934/molsci.2015.2.161

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