Early Expression of Parkinson’s Disease-Related Mitochondrial Abnormalities in PINK1 Knockout Rats

Lance M. Villeneuve, Phillip R. Purnell, Michael D. Boska, Howard S. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) mutations are responsible for an autosomal recessive, familial form of Parkinson’s disease. PINK1 protein is a Ser/Thr kinase localized to the mitochondrial membrane and is involved in many processes including mitochondrial trafficking, mitophagy, and proteasomal function. Using a new PINK1 knockout (PINK1 KO) rat model, we found altered brain metabolomic markers using magnetic resonance spectroscopy, identified changes in mitochondrial pathways with quantitative proteomics using sequential window acquisition of all theoretical spectra (SWATH) mass spectrometry, and demonstrated mitochondrial functional alterations through measurement of oxygen consumption and acidification rates. The observed alterations included reduced creatine, decreased levels of complex I of the electron transport chain, and increased proton leak in the electron transport chain in PINK1 KO rat brains. In conjunction, these results demonstrate metabolomic and mitochondrial alterations occur during the asymptomatic phase of Parkinson’s disease in this model. These results indicate both potential early diagnostic markers and therapeutic pathways that can be used in PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-186
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Mitochondria
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Proton leak

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)


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