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Title: Microbial BMAA and the Pathway for Parkinson's Disease Neurodegeneration
Authors: Nunes-Costa, Daniela 
Magalhães, João Duarte 
G-Fernandes, Maria 
Cardoso, Sandra Morais 
Empadinhas, Nuno 
Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; mitochondrial dysfunction; innate immunity; neurodegeneration; microbial b-Nmethylamino- L-alanine (BMAA)
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Project: UID/NEU/04539/2019 (POCI-01- 0145-FEDER-007440) 
Ph.D. fellowships SFRH/BD/117777/2016 
CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-000012- HealthyAging2020) 
Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra (Project FMUC-PEPITA-2018) 
Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa—Mantero Belard Neurosciences Prize 2016 (MB-40-2016) 
Serial title, monograph or event: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Volume: 12
Abstract: The neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) is a natural non-proteinogenic diamino acid produced by several species of both prokaryotic (cyanobacteria) and eukaryotic (diatoms and dinoflagellates) microorganisms. BMAA has been shown to biomagnify through the food chain in some ecosystems, accumulating for example in seafood such as shellfish and fish, common dietary sources of BMAA whose ingestion may have possible neuronal consequences. In addition to its excitotoxic potential, BMAA has been implicated in protein misfolding and aggregation, inhibition of specific enzymes and neuroinflammation, all hallmark features of neurodegenerative diseases. However, the exact molecular mechanisms of neurotoxicity remain to be elucidated in detail. Although BMAA is commonly detected in its free form, complex BMAA-containing molecules have also been identified such as the paenilamicins, produced by an insect gut bacterial pathogen. On the other hand, production of BMAA or BMAA-containing molecules by members of the human gut microbiota, for example by non-photosynthetic cyanobacteria, the Melainabacteria, remains only hypothetical. In any case, should BMAA reach the gut it may interact with cells of the mucosal immune system and neurons of the enteric nervous system (ENS) and possibly target the mitochondria. Here, we review the available evidence and hint on possible mechanisms by which chronic exposure to dietary sources of this microbial neurotoxin may drive protein misfolding and mitochondrial dysfunction with concomitant activation of innate immune responses, chronic low-grade gut inflammation, and ultimately the neurodegenerative features observed across the gut-brain axis in Parkinson's disease (PD).
ISSN: 1663-4365
DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2020.00026
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CNC - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais
IIIUC - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais
FMUC Medicina - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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