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Biochem Res Int. 2012;2012:213403. doi: 10.1155/2012/213403. Epub 2012 May 22.

Inhibition of the Mitochondrial Permeability Transition for Cytoprotection: Direct versus Indirect Mechanisms.

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LabEx LERMIT, INSERM U769, Faculté de Pharmacie, Université Paris-Sud, 5 Rue J.-B. Clément, 92290 Châtenay-Malabry, France.


Mitochondria are fascinating organelles, which fulfill multiple cellular functions, as diverse as energy production, fatty acid β oxidation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and detoxification, and cell death regulation. The coordination of these functions relies on autonomous mitochondrial processes as well as on sustained cross-talk with other organelles and/or the cytosol. Therefore, this implies a tight regulation of mitochondrial functions to ensure cell homeostasis. In many diseases (e.g., cancer, cardiopathies, nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases), mitochondria can receive harmful signals, dysfunction and then, participate to pathogenesis. They can undergo either a decrease of their bioenergetic function or a process called mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) that can coordinate cell death execution. Many studies present evidence that protection of mitochondria limits disease progression and severity. Here, we will review recent strategies to preserve mitochondrial functions via direct or indirect mechanisms of MPT inhibition. Thus, several mitochondrial proteins may be considered for cytoprotective-targeted therapies.

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