Richard J Youle

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BCL-2 family proteins, which have either pro- or anti-apoptotic activities, have been studied intensively for the past decade owing to their importance in the regulation of apoptosis, tumorigenesis and cellular responses to anti-cancer therapy. They control the point of no return for clonogenic cell survival and thereby affect tumorigenesis and(More)
Loss-of-function mutations in PINK1 and Parkin cause parkinsonism in humans and mitochondrial dysfunction in model organisms. Parkin is selectively recruited from the cytosol to damaged mitochondria to trigger their autophagy. How Parkin recognizes damaged mitochondria, however, is unknown. Here, we show that expression of PINK1 on individual mitochondria(More)
Loss-of-function mutations in Park2, the gene coding for the ubiquitin ligase Parkin, are a significant cause of early onset Parkinson's disease. Although the role of Parkin in neuron maintenance is unknown, recent work has linked Parkin to the regulation of mitochondria. Its loss is associated with swollen mitochondria and muscle degeneration in Drosophila(More)
Autophagy not only recycles intracellular components to compensate for nutrient deprivation but also selectively eliminates organelles to regulate their number and maintain quality control. Mitophagy, the specific autophagic elimination of mitochondria, has been identified in yeast, mediated by autophagy-related 32 (Atg32), and in mammals during red blood(More)
Damage to mitochondria can lead to the depolarization of the inner mitochondrial membrane, thereby sensitizing impaired mitochondria for selective elimination by autophagy. However, fusion of uncoupled mitochondria with polarized mitochondria can compensate for damage, reverse membrane depolarization, and obviate mitophagy. Parkin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase(More)
In healthy cells, fusion and fission events participate in regulating mitochondrial morphology. Disintegration of the mitochondrial reticulum into multiple punctiform organelles during apoptosis led us to examine the role of Drp1, a dynamin-related protein that mediates outer mitochondrial membrane fission. Upon induction of apoptosis, Drp1 translocates(More)
Apoptosis is stimulated by the insertion of Bax from the cytosol into mitochondrial membranes. The solution structure of Bax, including the putative transmembrane domain at the C terminus, was determined in order to understand the regulation of its subcellular location. Bax consists of 9 alpha helices where the assembly of helices alpha1 through alpha 8(More)
The cytoplasmic dynamin-related guanosine triphosphatase Drp1 is recruited to mitochondria and mediates mitochondrial fission. Although the mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM) protein Fis1 is thought to be a Drp1 receptor, this has not been confirmed. To analyze the mechanism of Drp1 recruitment, we manipulated the expression of mitochondrial fission and(More)
Bax, a member of the Bcl-2 protein family, accelerates apoptosis by an unknown mechanism. Bax has been recently reported to be an integral membrane protein associated with organelles or bound to organelles by Bcl-2 or a soluble protein found in the cytosol. To explore Bcl-2 family member localization in living cells, the green fluorescent protein (GFP) was(More)
Mitochondria sustain damage with aging, and the resulting mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in a number of diseases including Parkinson disease. We recently demonstrated that the E3 ubiquitin ligase Parkin, which is linked to recessive forms of parkinsonism, causes a dramatic increase in mitophagy and a change in mitochondrial distribution,(More)