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Figure 1: The interrelationship between mitochondrial dysfunction and αSynuclein toxicity. αSynuclein toxicity, directly or indirectly, impairs mitochondrial function (A). A prominent result of this dysfunction is the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which can be counteracted by the cellular ROS buffering systems. However prolonged mitochondrial stress, exacerbated by αSynuclein, has the potential to deplete this buffering capacity, and the resulting increase of cellular ROS has multiple damaging effects such as the modification of αSynuclein (B). Modified αSynuclein can inhibit chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA), increasing the proteins toxicity by its inefficient clearance. αSynuclein toxicity is dose dependant, and excessive amounts of αSynuclein have the potential to block autophagy pathways (i.e., macroautophagy and mitophagy). This results in an accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria due to inefficient clearance (C). αSynuclein toxicity can also increase mitochondrial fission and inhibit mitochondrial fusion (D). Both the increase in mitochondrial fragmentation and the inability of mitochondria to rejoin the mitochondrial network result in an increase in dysfunctional, depolarised mitochondria. αSynuclein toxicity also blocks endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to Golgi trafficking resulting in ER stress. When under constant and prolonged stress, the ER releases Ca2+ into the cytosol. Due to mitochondrial-ER contact sites, mitochondria readily buffer cytosolic Ca2+; however, excess Ca2+ in the mitochondria causes mitochondrial stress (E). Dysfunctional mitochondria in turn release Ca2+ into the cytosol causing further ER stress. Mitochondrial dysfunction may exacerbate αSynuclein toxicity (F), with both acting synergistically to enhance each other in a self-amplifying cycle over prolonged periods of time, resulting in multiple downstream effects, including cell death as seen in PD.