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Biol Chem. 2012 Jul;393(7):547-64. doi: 10.1515/hsz-2012-0119.

Mitophagy: mechanisms, pathophysiological roles, and analysis.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutics, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA. wxding@kumc.edu

Abstract

Mitochondria are essential organelles that regulate cellular energy homeostasis and cell death. The removal of damaged mitochondria through autophagy, a process called mitophagy, is thus critical for maintaining proper cellular functions. Indeed, mitophagy has been recently proposed to play critical roles in terminal differentiation of red blood cells, paternal mitochondrial degradation, neurodegenerative diseases, and ischemia or drug-induced tissue injury. Removal of damaged mitochondria through autophagy requires two steps: induction of general autophagy and priming of damaged mitochondria for selective autophagic recognition. Recent progress in mitophagy studies reveals that mitochondrial priming is mediated either by the Pink1-Parkin signaling pathway or the mitophagic receptors Nix and Bnip3. In this review, we summarize our current knowledge on the mechanisms of mitophagy. We also discuss the pathophysiological roles of mitophagy and current assays used to monitor mitophagy.

PMID:
22944659
PMCID:
PMC3630798
DOI:
10.1515/hsz-2012-0119
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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