Mitochondrial Ca2+ oscillation induces mitophagy

Dysregulation of the PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy is essential to Parkinson’s disease. Although important progress has been made in previous researches, the biochemical reagents that induce global and significant mitochondrial damage may still hinder deeper insights into the mechanisms of mitophagy. The origin of PINK1/Parkin pathway activation in mitophagy remains elusive. In this study, we develop an optical method, ultra-precise laser stimulation (UPLaS) that delivers a precise and noninvasive stimulation onto a submicron region in a single mitochondrial tubular structure. UPLaS excites localized mitochondrial Ca2+ (mitoCa2+) oscillations with tiny perturbation to mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) or mitochondrial reactive oxygen species. The UPLaS-induced mitoCa2+ oscillations can directly induce PINK1 accumulation and Parkin recruitment on mitochondria.

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Fig: UPLaS excites mitoCa2+oscillations in the target mitochondria with little perturbation to MMP or mitoROS

The Parkin recruitment by UPLaS requires PINK1. Our results provide a precise and noninvasive technology for research on mitophagy, which stimulates target mitochondria with little damage, and reveal mitoCa2+ oscillation directly initiates the PINK1-Parkin pathway for mitophagy without MMP depolarization.

Yu, Z., Wang, H., Tang, W. et al. Mitochondrial Ca2+ oscillation induces mitophagy initiation through the PINK1-Parkin pathway. Cell Death Dis 12, 632 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41419-021-03913-3

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