Evidence that phosphorylated ubiquitin signaling is involved in the etiology of Parkinson's disease

Kahori Shiba-Fukushima, Kei Ichi Ishikawa, Tsuyoshi Inoshita, Nana Izawa, Masashi Takanashi, Shigeto Sato, Osamu Onodera, Wado Akamatsu, Hideyuki Okano, Yuzuru Imai, Nobutaka Hattori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The ubiquitin (Ub) kinase PINK1 and the E3 Ub ligase Parkin, two gene products associated with young-onset Parkinson's disease (PD), participate in mitochondrial quality control. The phosphorylation of mitochondrial polyUb by PINK1, which is activated in a mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm)-dependent manner, facilitates the mitochondrial translocation and concomitant enzymatic activation of Parkin, leading to the clearance of phospho-polyUb-tagged mitochondria via mitophagy. Thus, Ub phosphorylation is a key event in PINK1-Parkin-mediated mitophagy. Here, we examined the role of phospho-Ub signaling in the pathogenesis of PD using fly PD models, human brain tissue and dopaminergic neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) containing Parkin or PINK1 mutations, as well as normal controls.We report that phospho-Ub signaling is highly conserved between humans and Drosophila, and that phospho-Ub signaling and the relocation of axonal mitochondria upon DWmreduction are indeed compromised in human dopaminergic neurons containing Parkin or PINK1 mutations. Moreover, phospho-Ub signaling is prominent in tyrosine hydroxylase-positive neurons compared with tyrosine hydroxylase-negative neurons, suggesting that PINK1-Parkin signaling is more required for dopaminergic neurons. These results shed light on the particular vulnerability of dopaminergic neurons to mitochondrial stress.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberddx201
Pages (from-to)3172-3185
Number of pages14
JournalHuman molecular genetics
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Evidence that phosphorylated ubiquitin signaling is involved in the etiology of Parkinson's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this