- Cite this article as:
- Zeviani, M. & Spinazzola, A. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep (2003) 3: 423. doi:10.1007/s11910-003-0026-9
- 89 Downloads
We present here a discussion on the most relevant recent publications on mitochondrial disease. In addition to many papers concerning the description of the genotype-to-phenotype correlations in mitochondrial DNA-related disorders, this very broad area of neurogenetics includes a number of novel observations on the basic aspects of mitochondrial biogenesis that can be relevant in explaining the molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial abnormalities. The completion of the human genome project and the wealth of knowledge gained on the genetics of oxidative phosphorylation in yeast have promoted a substantial acceleration in the discovery of a remarkable number of nuclear genes associated with specific mitochondrial disorders. A further development of these contributions has been the generation of several cellular and animal models of disease that can now be exploited for testing both pathogenetic hypotheses and therapeutic strategies. Most of the latter are based on the use of chemical compounds aimed at reducing the negative impact of mitochondrial defects on both energy production and generation of reactive oxygen species. The first successful attempts for gene therapy of some mitochondrial diseases have recently been achieved and will hopefully increase in the near future.