Mitochondrial quality control in neurodegenerative diseases: Focus on Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease

Sandra Franco-Iborra, Miquel Vila, Celine Perier

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117 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 Franco-Iborra, Vila and Perier. In recent years, several important advances have been made in our understanding of the pathways that lead to cell dysfunction and death in Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD). Despite distinct clinical and pathological features, these two neurodegenerative diseases share critical processes, such as the presence of misfolded and/or aggregated proteins, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial anomalies. Even though the mitochondria are commonly regarded as the "powerhouses" of the cell, they are involved in a multitude of cellular events such as heme metabolism, calcium homeostasis, and apoptosis. Disruption of mitochondrial homeostasis and subsequent mitochondrial dysfunction play a key role in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases, further highlighting the importance of these organelles, especially in neurons. The maintenance of mitochondrial integrity through different surveillance mechanisms is thus critical for neuron survival. Mitochondria display a wide range of quality control mechanisms, from the molecular to the organellar level. Interestingly, many of these lines of defense have been found to be altered in neurodegenerative diseases such as PD and HD. Current knowledge and further elucidation of the novel pathways that protect the cell through mitochondrial quality control may offer unique opportunities for disease therapy in situations where ongoing mitochondrial damage occurs. In this review, we discuss the involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegeneration with a special focus on the recent findings regarding mitochondrial quality control pathways, beyond the classical effects of increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and bioenergetic alterations. We also discuss how disturbances in these processes underlie the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders such as PD and HD.
Original languageEnglish
Article number342
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Issue numberMAY
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2018


  • Huntington's disease
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Mitochondrial quality control
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Parkinson's disease


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