Senescent and damaged mitochondria undergo selective mitophagic elimination through mechanisms requiring two Parkinson's disease factors, the mitochondrial kinase PINK1 (PTEN-induced putative kinase protein 1; PTEN is phosphatase and tensin homolog) and the cytosolic ubiquitin ligase Parkin. The nature of the PINK-Parkin interaction and the identity of key factors directing Parkin to damaged mitochondria are unknown. We show that the mitochondrial outer membrane guanosine triphosphatase mitofusin (Mfn) 2 mediates Parkin recruitment to damaged mitochondria. Parkin bound to Mfn2 in a PINK1-dependent manner; PINK1 phosphorylated Mfn2 and promoted its Parkin-mediated ubiqitination. Ablation of Mfn2 in mouse cardiac myocytes prevented depolarization-induced translocation of Parkin to the mitochondria and suppressed mitophagy. Accumulation of morphologically and functionally abnormal mitochondria induced respiratory dysfunction in Mfn2-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts and cardiomyocytes and in Parkin-deficient Drosophila heart tubes, causing dilated cardiomyopathy. Thus, Mfn2 functions as a mitochondrial receptor for Parkin and is required for quality control of cardiac mitochondria.
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