The Role of Mitochondria in Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis

Inhee Mook-Jung
Seoul National University
Nov. 30 14:45~15:15


Mitochondria have been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and beta amyloid is found in the mitochondria, which interact with the proteins inside the organelles. To examine the role of mitochondria in AD pathogenesis and to understand how mitochondria produce less ATP and more oxidative species, Abeta is specifically expressed in the mitochondria of neuronal cells and hippocampus of mouse brain. Also, mitochondrial targeting ROS scavenger to restore mitochondrial function is applied to the AD mouse brain whether it reduces the pathogenesis of AD.

Abeta overexpression in mitochondria itself made several pathologic changes including more ROS generation, less ATP production and less spine formation in vitro and in vivo. One of Abeta binding proteins in mitochondria is ATP synthase × subunit (ATP5A) and the O-GlcNAcylation on ATP5A is important modification to function ATP generation. Mitochondrial Abeta inhibits O-GlcNAcylation on ATP5A, resulting less ATP production from the mitochondria. When mitochondrial targeting ROS scavenger, TPP-ceria nanoparticle, is injected to AD mouse brain, less ROS generation, more ATP production and less neuronal death was observed.

Mitochondrial dysfunction by Abeta is crucial for AD pathogenesis and restoring mitochondrial function is a promising strategy to treat AD.



  • 1991-1995, Ph.D, University of Arizona, U.S.A.
  • 1982-1986, B.S., Seoul National University


Professional Career

  • 2014-2015, Acting Director, Korean Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • 2014-2015, Delegate of Korea, Session of Alzheimer’s disease, OECD
  • 2012-2014, Director, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Seoul National University
  • 2012-2014, R&D Planner for Neuroscience, National Research Foundation of Korea
  • 1996-2003, Assistant/Associate Professor, Ajou University School of Medicine
  • 1995-1996, Post-doc, UC San Diego
  • 1987-1991, Researcher, UC Irvine


Awards and Honors

  • 2015, Korea Loreal-UNESCO Woman Scientist Award
  • 2013, Global Creative Researcher Award, Seoul National University
  • 2013, Award from the minister of Health & Welfare Department
  • 2011, Award from the minister of Education, Science and Technology
  • 2011, Macrogen Woman Scientist Award, Society for Biochemisty& Molecular Biology