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J Cell Biol. 2018 May 7;217(5):1613-1622. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201801044. Epub 2018 Mar 2.

Basal mitophagy is widespread in Drosophila but minimally affected by loss of Pink1 or parkin.

Author information

1
Medical Research Council Mitochondrial Biology Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, UK.
2
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of the Basque Country, Leioa-Bizkaia, Spain.
3
Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Institute of Translational Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England, UK.
4
Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Institute of Translational Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England, UK clague@liverpool.ac.uk.
5
Medical Research Council Mitochondrial Biology Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, UK a.whitworth@mrc-mbu.cam.ac.uk.

Abstract

The Parkinson's disease factors PINK1 and parkin are strongly implicated in stress-induced mitophagy in vitro, but little is known about their impact on basal mitophagy in vivo. We generated transgenic Drosophila melanogaster expressing fluorescent mitophagy reporters to evaluate the impact of Pink1/parkin mutations on basal mitophagy under physiological conditions. We find that mitophagy is readily detectable and abundant in many tissues, including Parkinson's disease-relevant dopaminergic neurons. However, we did not detect mitolysosomes in flight muscle. Surprisingly, in Pink1 or parkin null flies, we did not observe any substantial impact on basal mitophagy. Because these flies exhibit locomotor defects and dopaminergic neuron loss, our findings raise questions about current assumptions of the pathogenic mechanism associated with the PINK1/parkin pathway. Our findings provide evidence that Pink1 and parkin are not essential for bulk basal mitophagy in Drosophila They also emphasize that mechanisms underpinning basal mitophagy remain largely obscure.

PMID:
29500189
PMCID:
PMC5940313
DOI:
10.1083/jcb.201801044
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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