Fixing mitophagy in Parkinson's disease

Genentech Inc. has identified ubiquitin specific peptidase 30 as a potentially disease-modifying target involved in the clearance of damaged mitochondria in Parkinson's disease.1 The Roche unit now needs to determine whether the deubiquitinase is indeed druggable.

Mitophagy is a form of autophagy that involves ridding cells of damaged mitochondria and is one of the key pathways for maintaining mitochondrial quality control.2,3 Defects in the process can result in the accumulation of damaged mitochondria within cells, leading to increased oxidative stress and cellular dysfunction.

Genetic studies have identified loss-of-function mutations in two regulators of mitophagy that are associated with PD.4,5 One regulator is PTEN induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1),

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