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J Biol Chem. 2013 Feb 22;288(8):5660-72. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.430801. Epub 2013 Jan 9.

Characterization of PINK1 (PTEN-induced putative kinase 1) mutations associated with Parkinson disease in mammalian cells and Drosophila.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea.


Mutations in PINK1 (PTEN-induced putative kinase 1) are tightly linked to autosomal recessive Parkinson disease (PD). Although more than 50 mutations in PINK1 have been discovered, the role of these mutations in PD pathogenesis remains poorly understood. Here, we characterized 17 representative PINK1 pathogenic mutations in both mammalian cells and Drosophila. These mutations did not affect the typical cleavage patterns and subcellular localization of PINK1 under both normal and damaged mitochondria conditions in mammalian cells. However, PINK1 mutations in the kinase domain failed to translocate Parkin to mitochondria and to induce mitochondrial aggregation. Consistent with the mammalian data, Drosophila PINK1 mutants with mutations in the kinase domain (G426D and L464P) did not genetically interact with Parkin. Furthermore, PINK1-null flies expressing the transgenic G426D mutant displayed defective phenotypes with increasing age, whereas L464P mutant-expressing flies exhibited the phenotypes at an earlier age. Collectively, these results strongly support the hypothesis that the kinase activity of PINK1 is essential for its function and for regulating downstream Parkin functions in mitochondria. We believe that this study provides the basis for understanding the molecular and physiological functions of various PINK1 mutations and provides insights into the pathogenic mechanisms of PINK1-linked PD.

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