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Review Article

Exp Neurobiol 2013; 22(3): 149-157

Published online September 30, 2013

© The Korean Society for Brain and Neural Sciences

Physiological and Pathological Significance of Dynamin-Related Protein 1 (Drp1)-Dependent Mitochondrial Fission in the Nervous System

Bongki Cho, So Yoen Choi, Hyo Min Cho, Hyun Jung Kim and Woong Sun*

Department of Anatomy, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul 136-705, Korea

Correspondence to: *To whom correspondence should be addressed.
TEL: 82-2-920-6404, FAX: 82-2-929-5696


Mitochondria are essential for proper neuronal morphogenesis and functions, as they are the major source of energy for neural development. The dynamic morphology of mitochondria determines the key functions of mitochondria. Several regulatory proteins such as dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) are required to maintain mitochondrial morphology via a balance between continuous fusion and fission. Activity of Drp1, a key regulator in mitochondrial fission, is modulated by multiple post-translation modifications and receptor interactions. In addition, numerous researches have revealed that the regulation of Drp1 activity and mitochondrial dynamics is closely associated with several neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. In this article, we concisely review the recent findings about the biological importance of Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission in neurons under physiological and pathological conditions.

Keywords: Drp1, neurodegeneration, mitochondria, fission, neuron