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Autophagy. 2011 Oct;7(10):1230-8. doi: 10.4161/auto.7.10.16626.

Spatiotemporally controlled initiation of Parkin-mediated mitophagy within single cells.

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Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica, College of Life Sciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.


Mitophagy, the selective removal of mitochondria through the autophagic pathway, is involved in cellular mitochondria quality control. Dysfunctional mitochondria can be selectively eliminated through Parkin-mediated mitophagy. Parkin is a ubiquitin E3 ligase that selectively translocates onto impaired mitochondria to initiate mitophagy, and mutations in Parkin have been identified in autosomal recessive forms of Parkinson disease. Here with the use of a genetically encoded, mitochondria-matrix targeting photosensitizer, we established a robust strategy that allows for spatiotemporally controlled initiation of Parkin-mediated mitophagy in single cells with light. The method can specifically target varying numbers of mitochondria into the Parkin-mediated mitophagy pathway for clearance. Combined with live cell imaging, we demonstrated that mitochondria can be cleared by Parkin-mediated mitophagy without juxtanuclear mito-aggresome formation. Autophagy proceeded with the asynchronous appearance of small LC3B-coated structures on Parkin-labeled mitochondria subsections in a nucleation-expansion manner. Our method allows for quantitative measurement on the Parkin-mediated mitophagy process, and can be multiplexed in imaging for higher throughput studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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