Deficiency of parkin and PINK1 impairs age-dependent mitophagy in drosophila

Cornelissen T., VILAIN S. P. L., Vints K., Gounko N., Verstreken P., Vandenberghe W.

eLife, vol.7, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.7554/elife.35878
  • Journal Name: eLife
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Mutations in the genes for PINK1 and parkin cause Parkinson’s disease. PINK1 and parkin cooperate in the selective autophagic degradation of damaged mitochondria (mitophagy) in cultured cells. However, evidence for their role in mitophagy in vivo is still scarce. Here, we generated a Drosophila model expressing the mitophagy probe mt-Keima. Using live mt-Keima imaging and correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM), we show that mitophagy occurs in muscle cells and dopaminergic neurons in vivo, even in the absence of exogenous mitochondrial toxins. Mitophagy increases with aging, and this age-dependent rise is abrogated by PINK1 or parkin deficiency. Knockdown of the Drosophila homologues of the deubiquitinases USP15 and, to a lesser extent, USP30, rescues mitophagy in the parkin-deficient flies. These data demonstrate a crucial role for parkin and PINK1 in age-dependent mitophagy in Drosophila in vivo.