Damage Control: Targeting Mitochondria

Deficiency in mitophagy, a process by which damaged mitochondria are selectively degraded to maintain cellular health and homeostasis, is a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s. The molecular mechanisms that govern the initiation of mitochondrial degradation and subsequent autophagosome biogenesis, however, are not well understood. In their new publication in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, first author Elias Adriaenssens, a post-doctoral researcher in the Martens lab, shows that the TBK1 kinase adaptors NAP1 and SINTBAD play crucial roles during mitochondrial degradation by controlling pathway initiation and driving its efficient progression.

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