Selective removal of mitochondria via mitophagy: distinct pathways for different mitochondrial stresses

Huifang Wei, Lei Liu, Quan Chen
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 2015, 1853 (10 Pt B): 2784-90
The efficient and selective elimination of damaged or excessive mitochondria in response to bioenergetic and environmental cues is critical for maintaining a healthy and appropriate population of mitochondria. Mitophagy is considered to be the central mechanism of mitochondrial quality and quantity control. Atg32, a mitophagy receptor in yeast, recruits mitochondria targeted for degradation into the isolation membrane via both direct and indirect interactions with Atg8. In mammals, different mitophagy effectors, including the mitophagy receptors NIX, BNIP3 and FUDNC1 and the PINK1/Parkin pathway, have been identified to participate in the selective clearance of mitochondria. One common feature of mitophagy receptors is that they harbor an LC3-interacting region (LIR) that interacts with LC3, thus promoting the sequestration of mitochondria into the isolation membrane. Additionally, both receptor- and Parkin/PINK1-mediated mitophagy have been found to be regulated by reversible phosphorylation. Here, we review the recent progress in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in selective mitophagy at multiple levels. We also discuss different mitophagy receptors from an evolutionary perspective and highlight the specific functions of and possible cooperation between distinct mechanisms of mitophagy.

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