Biochimica et biophysica acta

Altered dopamine homeostasis differentially affects mitochondrial voltage-dependent anion channels turnover.

PMID 24998333


Altered dopamine homeostasis plays a key role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. The generation of reactive oxygen species by spontaneous dopamine oxidation impairs mitochondrial function, causing in turn an enhancement of oxidative stress. Recent findings have highlighted the role of mitochondrial outer membrane proteins in the regulation of the correct disposal of damaged mitochondria. Here, we report the effect of altered dopamine homeostasis on the mitochondrial functionality in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells, a cellular model widely used to reproduce impaired dopamine homeostasis. We observed that dopamine significantly and relevantly reduces VDAC1 and VDAC2 levels without any change in the mRNA levels. Although mitochondria are depolarized by dopamine and mitochondrial calcium influx is reduced, dysfunctional mitochondria are not removed by mitophagy as it would be expected. Thus, alteration of dopamine homeostasis induces a mitochondrial depolarization not counteracted by the mitophagy quality control. As a consequence, the elimination of VDACs may contribute to the altered mitochondrial disposal in PD pathogenesis, thus enhancing the role of oxidative stress.