Marie Rogne defended her Ph.D. on March 31, 2009, at the University of Oslo.

Thesis title: Regulation of PP1 and Nucleic Acid binding by AKAP149 and PNUTS"

Thesis advisor: Professor Philippe Collas
Popular summary of thesis:

Approximately 1 in 8,000 people have a disease caused by mutations which affect mitochondrial function. Mitochondrial dysfunction is implicated in an increasing number of pathologies. Mitochondria also play critical roles in aging, viral infection and energy metabolism.
This thesis describes work showing that A-kinase anchoring protein AKAP149, implicated in several important signal transduction pathways, and localized in the mitochondrial membrane, is critical for correct localization of mitochondria in the cell. A conserved so-called KH domain, implicated in RNA binding, is required for this function as disruption of the KH domain, and thereby abolishment of the interaction of AKAP149 with RNA, causes collapse of the mitochondrial network. Mitochondrial collapse is often linked to various neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer or Parkinson’s disease. An open question is whether mutations in AKAP149 that cause collapse of the mitochondrial network may be linked to neurodegenerative diseases.