Mitochondrial quality control in AMD: does mitophagy play a pivotal role?
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CitationHyttinen, Juha MT. Viiri, Johanna. Kaarniranta, Kai. Blasiak, Janusz. (2018). Mitochondrial quality control in AMD: does mitophagy play a pivotal role?. CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR LIFE SCIENCES: CMLS, [First Online: 18 May 2018], 10.1007/s00018-018-2843-7.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the predominant cause of visual loss in old people in the developed world, whose incidence is increasing. This disease is caused by the decrease in macular function, due to the degeneration of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. The aged retina is characterised by increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), impaired autophagy, and DNA damage that are linked to AMD pathogenesis. Mitophagy, a mitochondria-specific type of autophagy, is an essential part of mitochondrial quality control, the collective mechanism responsible for this organelle’s homeostasis. The abundance of ROS, DNA damage, and the excessive energy consumption in the ageing retina all contribute to the degeneration of RPE cells and their mitochondria. We discuss the role of mitophagy in the cell and argue that its impairment may play a role in AMD pathogenesis. Thus, mitophagy as a potential therapeutic target in AMD and other degenerative diseases is as well explored.