BNIP3 protein suppresses PINK1 kinase proteolytic cleavage to promote mitophagy

Tongmei Zhang, Liang Xue, Li Li, Chengyuan Tang, Zhengqing Wan, Ruoxi Wang, Jieqiong Tan, Ya Tan, Hailong Han, Runyi Tian, Timothy R. Billiar, W. Andy Tao, Zhuohua Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations


Mutations in PINK1 (PTEN-induced putative kinase 1) cause early onset familial Parkinson's disease (PD). PINK1 accumulates on the outer membrane of damaged mitochondria followed by recruiting parkin to promote mitophagy. Here, we demonstrate that BCL2/adenovirus E1B 19-kDa interacting protein 3 (BNIP3), a mitochondrial BH3-only protein, interacts with PINK1 to promote the accumulation of full-length PINK1 on the outer membrane of mitochondria, which facilitates parkin recruitment and PINK1/parkin-mediated mitophagy. Inactivation of BNIP3 in mammalian cells promotes PINK1 proteolytic processing and suppresses PINK1/parkin-mediated mitophagy. Hypoxia-induced BNIP3 expression results in increased expression of full-length PINK1 and mitophagy. Consistently, expression of BNIP3 in Drosophila suppresses muscle degeneration and the mitochondrial abnormality caused by PINK1 inactivation. Together, the results suggest that BNIP3 plays a vital role in regulating PINK1 mitochondrial outer membrane localization, the proteolytic process of PINK1 and PINK1/parkin-mediated mitophagy under physiological conditions. Functional upregulation of BNIP3 may represent a novel therapeutic strategy to suppress the progression of PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21616-21629
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number41
StatePublished - 7 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'BNIP3 protein suppresses PINK1 kinase proteolytic cleavage to promote mitophagy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this