Mitochondrial Respiratory Dysfunction in Familiar Parkinsonism Associated with PINK1 Mutation

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In the present study mitochondrial respiratory function of fibroblasts from a patient affected by early-onset Parkinsonism carrying the homozygous W437X nonsense mutation in the PINK1 gene has been thoroughly characterized. When compared with normal fibroblasts, the patient's fibroblast mitochondria exhibited a lower respiratory activity and a decreased respiratory control ratio with cellular ATP supply relying mainly on enhanced glycolytic production. The quantity, specific activity and subunit pattern of the oxidative phosphorylation complexes were normal. However, a significant decrease of the cellular cytochrome c content was observed and this correlated with a reduced cytochrome c oxidase in situ-activity. Measurement of ROS revealed in mitochondria of the patient's fibroblasts enhanced O2•− and H2O2 production abrogated by inhibition of complex I. No change in the glutathione-based redox buffering was, however, observed.

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