Parkin and mitochondrial quality control: toward assembling the puzzle

Trends Cell Biol. 2014 Jun;24(6):332-41. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2014.01.001. Epub 2014 Jan 30.


Parkin is an E3 ubiquitin ligase associated with autosomal-recessive Parkinsonism. Moreover, parkin inactivation has been found in sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD), suggesting a wider pathogenic impact than initially predicted. Beyond its role in PD, parkin has also been implicated in innate immune responses. Since its discovery, mounting evidence indicates that parkin can mediate degradative as well as nondegradative ubiquitination. Here we review recent insights into the structure of parkin, the mechanism of its E3 ligase activity, and its functional versatility in an attempt to merge controversial aspects into a more comprehensive picture of this multifaceted E3 ubiquitin ligase.

Keywords: E3 ligases; PINK1; mitochondria; mitophagy; parkin; ubiquitin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Mitochondria / physiology*
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / metabolism
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / chemistry
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / metabolism*


  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • parkin protein
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex