Hidden phenotypes of PINK1/Parkin knockout mice

Biochim Biophys Acta Gen Subj. 2021 Jun;1865(6):129871. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2021.129871. Epub 2021 Feb 9.


PINK1, a serine/threonine ubiquitin kinase, and Parkin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, work in coordination to target damaged mitochondria to the lysosome in a process called mitophagy. This review will cover what we have learned from PINK1 and Parkin knockout (KO) mice. Systemic PINK1 and Parkin KO mouse models haven't faithfully recapitulated early onset forms of Parkinson's disease found in humans with recessive mutations in these genes. However, the utilization of these mouse models has given us insight into how PINK1 and Parkin contribute to mitochondrial quality control and function in different tissues beyond the brain such as in heart and adipose tissue. Although PINK1 and Parkin KO mice have been generated over a decade ago, these models are still being used today to creatively elucidate cell-type specific functions. Recently, these mouse models have uncovered that these proteins contribute to innate immunity and cancer phenotypes.

Keywords: PINK1; Parkin; knockout mouse; mitophagy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Parkinson Disease / etiology
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology*
  • Phenotype*
  • Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / physiology*


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