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EMBO Rep. 2018 Aug;19(8). pii: e46502. doi: 10.15252/embr.201846502. Epub 2018 Jul 20.

Mitochondrial hyperfusion causes neuropathy in a fly model of CMT2A.

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Department of Protein Biochemistry, Institute of Life Science, Kurume University, Kurume, Japan.
Department of Biological Science, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.


Mitochondria undergo frequent fusion and fission events, which are essential to maintain a functional mitochondrial network. A disruption of these processes can cause severe neurodegeneration. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2A (CMT2A) is a neuropathy that is caused by mutations in the fusion factor Mfn2. It is generally assumed that impaired mitochondrial fusion causes CMT2A. However, the detailed molecular mechanism underlying the pathophysiology of CMT2A is only incompletely understood. In this issue of EMBO Reports, El Fissi et al established a fly model to analyze the consequence of frequently occurring MFN2 mutations on locomotor behavior, mitochondrial morphology, and function and find that some pathogenic mutants enhance fusion activity, indicating that increased mitochondrial fusion can drive CMT2A-like pathology [1]. Moreover, this novel assay system will be a useful tool to analyze CMT2A pathogenesis in vivo.

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