PINK1 controls mitochondrial localization of Parkin through direct phosphorylation

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Dec 19;377(3):975-80. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.10.104. Epub 2008 Oct 26.


PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) and Parkin, encoded by their respective genes associated with Parkinson's disease (PD), are linked in a common pathway involved in the protection of mitochondrial integrity and function. However, the mechanism of their interaction at the biochemical level has not been investigated yet. Using both mammalian and Drosophila systems, we here demonstrate that the PINK1 kinase activity is required for its function in mitochondria. PINK1 regulates the localization of Parkin to the mitochondria in its kinase activity-dependent manner. In detail, Parkin phosphorylation by PINK1 on its linker region promotes its mitochondrial translocation, and the RING1 domain of Parkin is critical for this occurrence. These results demonstrate the biochemical relationship between PINK1, Parkin, and the mitochondria and thereby suggest the possible mechanism of PINK-Parkin-associated PD pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Drosophila melanogaster / enzymology
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria, Muscle / enzymology*
  • Parkinson Disease / enzymology*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Transfection
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / metabolism*


  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • parkin protein
  • Protein Kinases
  • PTEN-induced putative kinase