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AKT signalling selectively regulates PINK1 mitophagy in SHSY5Y cells and human iPSC-derived neurons

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journal contribution
posted on 14.09.2020 by Marc PM Soutar, Liam Kempthorne, Shuichi Miyakawa, Emily Annuario, Daniela Melandri, Jasmine Harley, Gregory A O'Sullivan, Selina Wray, David C Hancock, Mark R Cookson, Julian Downward, Mark Carlton, Hélène Plun-Favreau
The discovery of mutations within genes associated with autosomal recessive Parkinson's disease allowed for the identification of PINK1/Parkin regulated mitophagy as an important pathway for the removal of damaged mitochondria. While recent studies suggest that AKT-dependent signalling regulates Parkin recruitment to depolarised mitochondria, little is known as to whether this can also regulate PINK1 mitochondrial accumulation and downstream mitophagy. Here, we demonstrate that inhibition of AKT signalling decreases endogenous PINK1 accumulation in response to mitochondria depolarisation, subsequent Parkin recruitment, phosphorylation of ubiquitin, and ultimately mitophagy. Conversely, we show that upon stimulation of AKT signalling via insulin, the mitophagy pathway is increased in SHSY5Y cells. These data suggest that AKT signalling is an upstream regulator of PINK1 accumulation on damaged mitochondria. Importantly, we show that the AKT pathway also regulates endogenous PINK1-dependent mitophagy in human iPSC-derived neurons.