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J Cell Biol. 2008 Dec 1;183(5):795-803. doi: 10.1083/jcb.200809125. Epub 2008 Nov 24.

Parkin is recruited selectively to impaired mitochondria and promotes their autophagy.

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  • 1Biochemistry Section, Surgical Neurology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

Abstract

Loss-of-function mutations in Park2, the gene coding for the ubiquitin ligase Parkin, are a significant cause of early onset Parkinson's disease. Although the role of Parkin in neuron maintenance is unknown, recent work has linked Parkin to the regulation of mitochondria. Its loss is associated with swollen mitochondria and muscle degeneration in Drosophila melanogaster, as well as mitochondrial dysfunction and increased susceptibility to mitochondrial toxins in other species. Here, we show that Parkin is selectively recruited to dysfunctional mitochondria with low membrane potential in mammalian cells. After recruitment, Parkin mediates the engulfment of mitochondria by autophagosomes and the selective elimination of impaired mitochondria. These results show that Parkin promotes autophagy of damaged mitochondria and implicate a failure to eliminate dysfunctional mitochondria in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease.

PMID:
19029340
PMCID:
PMC2592826
DOI:
10.1083/jcb.200809125
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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