Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by a progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. The cause of neuronal death in PD is largely unknown, but several genetic loci, including PTENinduced putative kinase 1 (PINK1), have been linked to early onset autosomal recessive forms of familial PD. PINK1 encodes a serine/threonine kinase, which phosphorylates several substrates and consequently leads to cell protection against apoptosis induced by various stresses. In addition, research has shown that inflammation largely contributes to the pathogenesis of PD, but the functional link between PINK1 and PD-linked neuroinflammation remains poorly understood. Therefore, in the present study, we investigated the functional role of PINK1 in interleukin (IL)-1β-mediated inflammatory signaling. We show that PINK1 specifically binds to TRAF6 and TAK1, and facilitates the autodimerization and autoubiquitination of TRAF6. PINK1 also enhances the association between TRAF6 and TAK1, phosphorylates TAK1, and stimulates polyubiquitination of TAK1. Furthermore, PINK1 leads to the potentiation of IL-1β-mediated NF-jB activity and cytokine production. These findings suggest that PINK1 positively regulates two key molecules, TRAF6 and TAK1, in the IL-1β-mediated signaling pathway, consequently upregulating their downstream inflammatory events.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology