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Mol Cell. 2019 Mar 21;73(6):1127-1137.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2019.01.013. Epub 2019 Feb 13.

PINK1 Inhibits Local Protein Synthesis to Limit Transmission of Deleterious Mitochondrial DNA Mutations.

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National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. Electronic address:


We have previously proposed that selective inheritance, the limited transmission of damaging mtDNA mutations from mother to offspring, is based on replication competition in Drosophila melanogaster. This model, which stems from our observation that wild-type mitochondria propagate much more vigorously in the fly ovary than mitochondria carrying fitness-impairing mutations, implies that germ cells recognize the fitness of individual mitochondria and selectively boost the propagation of healthy ones. Here, we demonstrate that the protein kinase PINK1 preferentially accumulates on mitochondria enriched for a deleterious mtDNA mutation. PINK1 phosphorylates Larp to inhibit protein synthesis on the mitochondrial outer membrane. Impaired local translation on defective mitochondria in turn limits the replication of their mtDNA and hence the transmission of deleterious mutations to the offspring. Our work confirms that selective inheritance occurs at the organelle level during Drosophila oogenesis and provides molecular entry points to test this model in other systems.


AKAP1; DNA replication; Larp1; PINK1; local protein synthesis; mitochondria; mitochondrial quality control; mtDNA; oogenesis; selective inheritance

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