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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2012, Article ID 382175, 16 pages
Review Article

The Emerging Role of Proteolysis in Mitochondrial Quality Control and the Etiology of Parkinson’s Disease

Biochemistry, University of Toronto, 1 King's College Circle, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1A8

Received 8 December 2011; Accepted 19 February 2012

Academic Editor: Catarina Resende de Oliveira

Copyright © 2012 Riya Shanbhag et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles that are important for many diverse cellular processes, such as energy metabolism, calcium buffering, and apoptosis. Mitochondrial biology and dysfunction have recently been linked to different types of cancers and neurodegenerative diseases, most notably Parkinson’s disease. Thus, a better understanding of the quality control systems that maintain a healthy mitochondrial network can facilitate the development of effective treatments for these diseases. In this perspective, we will discuss recent advances on two mitochondrial quality control pathways: the UPS and mitophagy, highlight how new players may be contributing to regulate these pathways. We believe the proteases involved will be key and novel regulators of mitochondrial quality control, and this knowledge will provide insights into future studies aimed to combat neurodegenerative diseases.