Mutations in the mitochondrial fusion gene Mfn2 cause the human neurodegenerative disease Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2A. However, the cellular basis underlying this relationship is poorly understood. By removing Mfn2 from the cerebellum, we established a model for neurodegeneration caused by loss of mitochondrial fusion. During development and after maturity, Purkinje cells require Mfn2 but not Mfn1 for dendritic outgrowth, spine formation, and cell survival. In vivo, cell culture, and electron microscopy studies indicate that mutant Purkinje cells have aberrant mitochondrial distribution, ultrastructure, and electron transport chain activity. In fibroblasts lacking mitochondrial fusion, the majority of mitochondria lack mitochondrial DNA nucleoids. This deficiency provides a molecular mechanism for the dependence of respiratory activity on mitochondrial fusion. Our results show that exchange of mitochondrial contents is important for mitochondrial function as well as organelle distribution in neurons and have important implications for understanding the mechanisms of neurodegeneration due to perturbations in mitochondrial fusion.
We have not found any resources mentioned in this publication.
SciCrunch® is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch® will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to SciCrunch®, however this is not currently a free service.