PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) is a mitochondrial serine/threonine-protein kinase that protects against mitochondrial dysfunction during cellular oxidative stress (1). It has a mitochondrial targeting motif and is highly expressed in the heart, skeletal muscle and testis (1, 2). PINK1 transcription is controlled by FOXO family member FOXO3a, subject to growth factor deprivation (3). Induction of PINK1 by FOXO3a is crucial for survival signals in lymphocytes, as depletion of PINK1 sensitizes them to cell death induced by deprivation of an essential growth factor (3). Defects in PINK1 are the cause of autosomal recessive early-onset Parkinson’s disease (1). Silencing the Parkinson’s disease gene encoding PINK1 leads to neurodegeneration and mitochondrial dysfunction (4).
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