Mitochondrial diseases About themeThe mission of the theme is to understand cellular bioenergetics in health and disease at all levels of complexity. The gained knowledge will enable us to develop preventive and supportive measures and substantial contributions towards the development of rational treatment strategies for mitochondrial diseases.
Human cells require energy in the form of ATP to function adequately. In most cell types, ATP is primarily generated by mitochondria, which are also key players in other cellular processes, such as adaptive thermogenesis, ion homeostasis, innate immune responses, and programmed cell death (apoptosis). Mitochondrial dysfunction, defined as a disturbance in the function of the oxidative phosphorylation system, is not only observed in monogenic mitochondrial disorders but is also associated with more common pathologic diseases and conditions, such as genetic forms of Parkinson’s disease, certain types of cancer like pheochromocytomas, heart failure, diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, and with adverse drug effects like nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs).
To realize this mission, we defined three lines of research along the spectrum of molecule-man-population: (i) structure and function of molecules and complexes; (ii) cellular consequences of hampered oxidative phosphorylation; (iii) clinical aspects of mitochondrial diseases.
- Structure and function of molecules and complexes
- Cellular consequences
- Clinical aspects
- We aim to identify new gene defects in the oxidative phosphorylation system and to characterize the cellular mechanisms involved.
- We aim to elucidate the molecular mechanism and regulation of mitochondrial complex I based on the atomic structure.
- We aim to resolve the complete assembly pathway of mitochondrial complex I and to identify and functionally characterize new components of the assembly machinery.
- We will study the dynamics of the mitochondrial complexome in health and disease.
- We will explore the tissue-specific inventory and regulation of the complexes of oxidative phosphorylation and their correlation with specific phenotypes.
- We will investigate the links and mechanisms connecting genetic defects with organ-specific disease phenotypes.
- We will further develop tools to monitor the metabolic state and bio-energetic status of mitochondria in living cells and tissues.
- We will study the influence of environmental factors on the progression of mitochondrial disease.
- We will develop a toolbox of biomarkers and relevant clinical outcome measures to monitor progression of mitochondrial disease and the effect of therapeutic interventions.
- We will perform long-term follow-up studies on defined patient cohorts.
- We will explore new therapeutic approaches to mitochondrial diseases.
Lines of research
News and agenda
- Outreach activities for patients with mitochondrial diseases and other stakeholders
- The successful road to development of drug candidate KH176, and beyond
- Complex I assembly pathway elucidation
- Mitochondrial drug developed at Radboudumc is safe in healthy male volunteers
- Quantitative morphofunctional analysis of mitochondria
- Diabetes research at Radboudumc
- Psychological aspects of mitochondrial disorders
Centers of clinical expertise
Information might be only available in Dutch.
Answers in DutchInformation on our research can also be found in Dutch on the Nationale Wetenschapsagenda website. The information here answers questions asked by Dutch citizens.
Affiliated institutes and centers
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and BehaviourThe mission of the Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience is to carry out world class research that advances our knowledge on how the nervous system develops and functions and how it is altered by disease, injury, genetic, and environmental factors like stress. read more
Radboudumc Technology Center Mass spectrometry
The Technology Center for Mass Spectrometry offers high-level expertise in bioanalytical mass spectrometry combined with in-depth knowledge on biomedical and clinical applications, embedded in a cutting-edge clinical and fundamental research environment.read more
Radboudumc Technology Center Microscopic Imaging Center
The Microscopic Imaging Center offers access to both standard and innovative advanced microscopy infrastructure and applications including technical operator-assistance and in-depth microscopic imaging knowledge.read more
Radboudumc Technology Center Animal Research Facility
This technology center offers advice and support from planning up to and including the conduct of animal research on behalf of biomedical research and education.read more