PTEN-Induced Kinase 1 (PINK1)
The discovery of PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) was first described in 2001 by Valente et al. as a novel locus for autosomal recessive Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Termed PARK6, the new locus was identified in a genome-wide homozygosity screen performed in a Sicilian family with multiple PD-affected members (Valente et al. 2001, 2004). Localized to the mitochondria, PINK1 was the first nuclear-encoded mitochondrial protein to be implicated in PD pathogenesis and strongly suggests the role of mitochondrial pathomechanisms in PD (Valente et al. 2004). The precise mechanism by which PINK1 contributes to mitochondrial dysfunction, however, remains unclear as there remains a significant gap in knowledge in our understanding of the role of PINK1 in human disease.
First identified as a serine/threonine kinase with reported homology to the Ca2+/calmodulin family, PINK1 does not fall within any of the previously identified kinase families as...