Disturbed magnesium (Mg2+) homoeostasis and increased levels of OS (oxidative stress) are associated with poor clinical outcomes in patients suffering from neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Data from clinical and animal studies suggest that MD (Mg2+ deficiency) is correlated with increased production of ROS (reactive oxygen species) in cells, but a straightforward causal relationship (including molecular mechanisms) between the two conditions is lacking. The multifactorial protein PARK7/DJ-1 is a major antioxidant protein, playing a key role in cellular redox homoeostasis, and is a positive regulator of AR (androgen receptor)-dependent transcription. SLC41A1 (solute carrier family 41 member 1), the gene encoding a ubiquitous cellular Mg2+E (Mg2+efflux) system, has been shown to be regulated by activated AR. We hypothesize that overexpression/up-regulation of PARK7/DJ-1, attributable to OS and related activation of AR, is an important event regulating the expression of SLC41A1 and consequently, modulating the Mg2+E capacity. This would involve changes in the transcriptional activity of PARK7/DJ-1, AR and SLC41A1, which may serve as biomarkers of intracellular MD and may have clinical relevance. Imipramine, in use as an antidepressant, has been shown to reduce the Mg2+E activity of SLC41A1 and OS. We therefore hypothesize further that administration of imipramine or related drugs will be beneficial in MD- and OS-associated diseases, especially when combined with Mg2+ supplementation. If proved true, the OS-responsive functional axis, PARK7/DJ-1–AR–SLC41A1, may be a putative mechanism underlying intracellular MD secondary to OS caused by pro-oxidative stimuli, including extracellular MD. Furthermore, it will advance our understanding of the link between OS and MD.

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