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Mitochondrial dysfunction has been associated with neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD) for over 30 years. Despite this, the role of mitochondrial dysfunction as an initiator, propagator, or bystander remains undetermined. The discovery of the role of the PD familial genes PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) and parkin (PRKN) in mediating mitochondrial degradation (mitophagy) reaffirmed the importance of this process in PD aetiology. Recently, progress has been made in understanding the upstream and downstream regulators of canonical PINK1/parkin-mediated mitophagy, alongside noncanonical PINK1/parkin mitophagy, in response to mitochondrial damage. Progress has also been made in understanding the role of PD-associated genes, such as SNCA, LRRK2, and CHCHD2, in mitochondrial dysfunction and their overlap with sporadic PD (sPD), opening opportunities for therapeutically targeting mitochondria in PD.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends Biochem Sci

Publication Date





329 - 343


PINK1, Parkin, bioenergetics, deubiquitylase, neurodegeneration, α-synuclein, DNA-Binding Proteins, Humans, Leucine-Rich Repeat Serine-Threonine Protein Kinase-2, Mitochondria, Mitophagy, Parkinson Disease, Protein Kinases, Transcription Factors, Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases, alpha-Synuclein