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Trends Mol Med. 2013 Jan;19(1):61-9. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2012.11.005. Epub 2012 Dec 19.

Complex I deficiencies in neurological disorders.

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Institute of Biomembranes and Bioenergetics (IBBE), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Bari, Italy.


Complex I is the point of entry in the mitochondrial electron transport chain for NADH reducing equivalents, and it behaves as a regulatable pacemaker of respiratory ATP production in human cells. Defects in complex I are associated with several human neurological disorders, including primary mitochondrial diseases, Parkinson disease (PD), and Down syndrome, and understanding the activity and regulation of complex I may reveal aspects of the underlying pathogenic mechanisms. Complex I is regulated by cyclic AMP (cAMP) and the protein kinase A (PKA) signal transduction pathway, and elucidating the role of the cAMP/PKA system in regulating complex I and oxygen free radical production provides new perspectives for devising therapeutic strategies for neurological diseases.

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