Combined aerobic exercise and enzyme replacement therapy rejuvenates the mitochondrial–lysosomal axis and alleviates autophagic blockage in Pompe disease Journal Articles uri icon

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  • A unifying feature in the pathogenesis of aging, neurodegenerative disease, and lysosomal storage disorders is the progressive deposition of macromolecular debris impervious to enzyme catalysis by cellular waste disposal mechanisms (e.g., lipofuscin). Aerobic exercise training (AET) has pleiotropic effects and stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis, antioxidant defense systems, and autophagic flux in multiple organs and tissues. Our aim was to explore the therapeutic potential of AET as an ancillary therapy to mitigate autophagic buildup and oxidative damage and rejuvenate the mitochondrial-lysosomal axis in Pompe disease (GSD II/PD). Fourteen weeks of combined recombinant acid α-glucosidase (rhGAA) and AET polytherapy attenuated mitochondrial swelling, fortified antioxidant defense systems, reduced oxidative damage, and augmented glycogen clearance and removal of autophagic debris/lipofuscin in fast-twitch skeletal muscle of GAA-KO mice. Ancillary AET potently augmented the pool of PI4KA transcripts and exerted a mild restorative effect on Syt VII and VAMP-5/myobrevin, collectively suggesting improved endosomal transport and Ca(2+)- mediated lysosomal exocytosis. Compared with traditional rhGAA monotherapy, AET and rhGAA polytherapy effectively mitigated buildup of protein carbonyls, autophagic debris/lipofuscin, and P62/SQSTM1, while enhancing MnSOD expression, nuclear translocation of Nrf-2, muscle mass, and motor function in GAA-KO mice. Combined AET and rhGAA therapy reactivates cellular clearance pathways, mitigates mitochondrial senescence, and strengthens antioxidant defense systems in GSD II/PD. Aerobic exercise training (or pharmacologic targeting of contractile-activity-induced pathways) may have therapeutic potential for mitochondrial-lysosomal axis rejuvenation in lysosomal storage disorders and related conditions (e.g., aging and neurodegenerative disease).


  • Nilsson, MI
  • MacNeil, LG
  • Kitaoka, Y
  • Suri, R
  • Young, SP
  • Kaczor, JJ
  • Nates, NJ
  • Ansari, MU
  • Wong, T
  • Ahktar, M
  • Brandt, L
  • Hettinga, BP
  • Tarnopolsky, Mark

publication date

  • October 2015

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