Is cholesterol bad for mitochondria?


by Sayuri Miyamoto

Cholesterol is an important component of cell membranes and plays essential structural and signaling roles. It is synthesized in the endoplasmic reticulum and distributed to other cell membranes/compartments through a tightly regulated trafficking system involving vesicular and non-vesicular processes [1]. Cholesterol distribution among intra-cellular membranes is not homogeneous. Mitochondria are cholesterol-poor organelles (less than 5 %). However, mitochondrial cholesterol is increased in cancer cell lines and treatment of these cells with statins (cholesterol lowering drugs) increases their susceptibility to chemotherapy [2].

How mitochondrial cholesterol could influence


A novel oxidative pathway for human SOD1 aggregation is revealed and may contribute to ALS pathology

by Ohara Augusto

ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a fatal disease characterized by the degeneration of motor neurons, resulting in progressive muscle weakness, atrophy, paralysis and death. Most cases of ALS are sporadic but about 10% of the cases have a genetic basis.ALS-causing mutations have been identified in several genes, but the mutation of Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase gene (SOD1) is the most studied and responsible for about 20% of the familial cases. SOD1-linked ALS patients exhibit pathology and symptoms similar to those of sporadic ALS patients, leading to the hypothesis that both forms of the disease have a common pathogenic mechanism. This hypothesis led to many advances in