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Mitochondrial calcium uniporter as a potential therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer’s disease

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 December 2019

Anila Venugopal
Affiliation:
Human Molecular Genetics and Stem Cell Laboratory, Department of Human Genetics and Molecular Biology, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
Mahalaxmi Iyer
Affiliation:
Department of Zoology, Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
Venkatesh Balasubramanian
Affiliation:
Human Molecular Genetics and Stem Cell Laboratory, Department of Human Genetics and Molecular Biology, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
Balachandar Vellingiri*
Affiliation:
Human Molecular Genetics and Stem Cell Laboratory, Department of Human Genetics and Molecular Biology, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
*
Author for correspondence: Balachandar Vellingiri, Email: geneticbala@buc.edu.in

Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a neurodegenerative disorder, is the leading cause of dementia in the world whose aetiology is still unclear. AD was always related to ageing though there have been instances where people at an early age also succumb to this disease. With medical advancements, the mortality rate has significantly reduced which also makes people more prone to AD. AD is rare, yet the prominent disease has been widely studied with several hypotheses trying to understand the workings of its onset. The most recent and popular hypothesis in AD is the involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction and calcium homeostasis in the development of the disease though their exact roles are not known. With the sudden advent of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU), many previously known pathological hallmarks of AD may be better understood. Several studies have shown the effect of excess calcium in mitochondria and the influence of MCU complex in mitochondrial function. In this article, we discuss the possible involvement of MCU in AD by linking the uniporter to mitochondrial dysfunction, calcium homeostasis, reactive oxygen species, neurotransmitters and the hallmarks of AD – amyloid plaque formation and tau tangle formation.

Type
Review Article
Copyright
© Scandinavian College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2019

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