Mitochondrial Redox Signaling Is Critical to the Normal Functioning of the Neuronal System

Olena Odnokoz, Kyle Nakatsuka, Corbin Wright, Jovelyn Castellanos, Vladimir I. Klichko, Doris Kretzschmar, William C. Orr, Svetlana N. Radyuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Mitochondrial dysfunction often leads to neurodegeneration and is considered one of the main causes of neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other age-related diseases. Mitochondrial dysfunction is tightly linked to oxidative stress and accumulating evidence suggests the association between oxidative stress and neurological disorders. However, there is insufficient knowledge about the role of pro-oxidative shift in cellular redox and impairment of redox-sensitive signaling in the development of neurodegenerative pathological conditions. To gain a more complete understanding of the relationship between mitochondria, redox status, and neurodegenerative disorders, we investigated the effect of mitochondrial thiol-dependent peroxidases, peroxiredoxins (Prxs), on the physiological characteristics of flies, which change with pathologies such as PD, ALS and during aging. We previously found that through their ability to sense changes in redox and regulate redox-sensitive signaling, Prxs play a critical role in maintaining global thiol homeostasis, preventing age-related apoptosis and chronic activation of the immune response. We also found that the phenotype of flies under-expressing Prxs in mitochondria shares many characteristics with the phenotype of Drosophila models of neurological disorders such as ALS, including impaired locomotor activity and compromised redox balance. Here, we expanded the study and found that under-expression of mitochondrial Prxs leads to behavioral changes associated with neural function, including locomotor ability, sleep-wake behavior, and temperature-sensitive paralysis. We also found that under-expression of mitochondrial Prxs with a motor-neuron-specific driver, D42-GAL4, was a determining factor in the development of the phenotype of shortened lifespan and impaired motor activity in flies. The results of the study suggest a causal link between mitochondrial Prx activity and the development of neurological disorders and pre-mature aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number613036
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
StatePublished - Jan 28 2021


  • Drosophila
  • aging
  • mitochondria
  • neuronal function
  • peroxiredoxin
  • redox state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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