Two sides of a coin: Physiological significance and molecular mechanisms for damage-induced mitochondrial localization of PINK1 and Parkin

Neurosci Res. 2020 Oct:159:16-24. doi: 10.1016/j.neures.2020.03.009. Epub 2020 Mar 19.


In 1998, PARKIN was reported as a causal gene for hereditary recessive Parkinsonism by Kitada, Mizuno, Hattori, and Shimizu et al. Later in 2004, PINK1 was also reported as a causal gene for hereditary recessive Parkinsonism by Valente, Auburger, and Wood et al. Although many unsolved mysteries still remain, our knowledge of PINK1 and Parkin function has increased dramatically since then. Despite a number of milestone studies that advanced the PINK1 and Parkin research field, a critical turning point was undoubtedly the determination that their genuine subcellular localization was on depolarized mitochondria. In this review, we outline the key studies that have contributed to our current model for mitochondrial localization of PINK1 and Parkin. Interestingly, like two sides of a coin, our attempts to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the localization of PINK1 and Parkin were inextricably tied to the identification of the PINK1 substrate and molecular dissection of the Parkin activation mechanism.

Keywords: Mitochondria; PINK1; Parkin; Parkinson's disease; Selective localization.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mitochondria* / genetics
  • Mitochondria* / pathology
  • Parkinson Disease* / enzymology
  • Parkinson Disease* / genetics
  • Parkinson Disease* / physiopathology
  • Protein Kinases* / genetics
  • Protein Kinases* / metabolism
  • Protein Transport
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases* / genetics
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases* / metabolism


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