Loss of iron triggers PINK1/Parkin-independent mitophagy

George F. G. Allen, Rachel Toth, John James, Ian G. Ganley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    386 Citations (Scopus)


    In this study, we develop a simple assay to identify mitophagy inducers on the basis of the use of fluorescently tagged mitochondria that undergo a colour change on lysosomal delivery. Using this assay, we identify iron chelators as a family of compounds that generate a strong mitophagy response. Iron chelation-induced mitophagy requires that cells undergo glycolysis, but does not require PINK1 stabilization or Parkin activation, and occurs in primary human fibroblasts as well as those isolated from a Parkinson's patient with Parkin mutations. Thus, we have identified and characterized a mitophagy pathway, the induction of which could prove beneficial as a potential therapy for several neurodegenerative diseases in which mitochondrial clearance is advantageous.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1127-1135
    Number of pages9
    JournalEMBO Reports
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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