In Vitro and In Vivo Detection of Mitophagy in Human Cells, C. Elegans, and Mice.
Fang EF., Palikaras K., Sun N., Fivenson EM., Spangler RD., Kerr JS., Cordonnier SA., Hou Y., Dombi E., Kassahun H., Tavernarakis N., Poulton J., Nilsen H., Bohr VA.
Mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells and produce cellular energy in the form of ATP. Mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to biological aging and a wide variety of disorders including metabolic diseases, premature aging syndromes, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Maintenance of mitochondrial health depends on mitochondrial biogenesis and the efficient clearance of dysfunctional mitochondria through mitophagy. Experimental methods to accurately detect autophagy/mitophagy, especially in animal models, have been challenging to develop. Recent progress towards the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of mitophagy has enabled the development of novel mitophagy detection techniques. Here, we introduce several versatile techniques to monitor mitophagy in human cells, Caenorhabditis elegans (e.g., Rosella and DCT-1/ LGG-1 strains), and mice (mt-Keima). A combination of these mitophagy detection techniques, including cross-species evaluation, will improve the accuracy of mitophagy measurements and lead to a better understanding of the role of mitophagy in health and disease.