Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Genome-wide RNAi screen identifies the Parkinson disease GWAS risk locus SREBF1 as a regulator of mitophagy.

PMID 24912190


Genetic analysis of Parkinson disease (PD) has identified several genes whose mutation causes inherited parkinsonism, as well as risk loci for sporadic PD. PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) and parkin, linked to autosomal recessive PD, act in a common genetic pathway regulating the autophagic degradation of mitochondria, termed mitophagy. We undertook a genome-wide RNAi screen as an unbiased approach to identify genes regulating the PINK1/Parkin pathway. We identified several genes that have a conserved function in promoting mitochondrial translocation of Parkin and subsequent mitophagy, most notably sterol regulatory element binding transcription factor 1 (SREBF1), F-box and WD40 domain protein 7 (FBXW7), and other components of the lipogenesis pathway. The relevance of mechanisms of autosomal recessive parkinsonism to sporadic PD has long been debated. However, with the recent identification of SREBF1 as a risk locus for sporadic PD, our findings suggest a common mechanistic link between autosomal recessive and sporadic PD, and underscore the importance of mitochondrial homeostasis.