• Open Access

PINK1 function in health and disease

Authors

  • Emma Deas,

    1. Department of Molecular Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, WC1N 3BG, UK
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  • Helene Plun-Favreau,

    1. Department of Molecular Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, WC1N 3BG, UK
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    • These authors share last author position.

  • Nicholas W. Wood

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Molecular Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, WC1N 3BG, UK
    • Tel: (+44) 207 837 3611 ex 4255; Fax: (+44) 207 278 5616

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    • These authors share last author position.


Abstract

The role of mitochondria in sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD) has been debated for a little over 20 years since the description of complex I deficiency in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) of PD patients. However, the identification of recessive pathogenic mutations in the pink1 gene in familial PD cases firmly re-ignited interest in the pathophysiology of mitochondria in PD. PINK1 is a putative mitochondrial serine/threonine kinase, which protects cells against oxidative stress induced apoptosis. The mechanism by which this is achieved and the effect of the pathogenic mutations has been an area of intensive research over the past five years. Significant progress has been made and, in this review, we summarize the physiological roles that have been assigned to PINK1 and the potential mechanisms behind pathogenesis.

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