Translocator protein (TSPO) takes part in mitochondrial adenine triphosphate (ATP) production and transport. Mitochondrial TSPO is a part of the apoptotic and cell necrotic mechanism. Ligands to TSPO, endogenous and synthetic, have different effects on metabolism and protein expression in human well-differentiated metabolically active cells. In general, most of the TSPO ligands affect the cellular function or metabolism in the same general direction, but different specific TSPO ligands have their own unique effects in human cells. Regulation of gene expression via the actions of TSPO ligands on the mitochondrial TSPO may form an essential mechanism for the regulation of cellular functions, especially during acute organ injury, such as acute brain damage. The exact mode of action of the specific TSPO ligands is not clear enough and should be further investigated. TSPO is a potential target for therapeutic efforts to mitigate secondary tissue injury caused by programmed cell death.
Part of the book: Mitochondrial Diseases