USP30 inhibition induces mitophagy and reduces oxidative stress in parkin-deficient human neurons

Justyna Okarmus, Jette Bach Agergaard, Tina C. Stummann, Henriette Haukedal, Malene Ambjørn, Kristine K. Freude, Karina Fog, Morten Meyer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

4 Downloads (Pure)


Ubiquitination of mitochondrial proteins plays an important role in the cellular regulation of mitophagy. The E3 ubiquitin ligase parkin (encoded by PARK2) and the ubiquitin-specific protease 30 (USP30) have both been reported to regulate the ubiquitination of outer mitochondrial proteins and thereby mitophagy. Loss of E3 ligase activity is thought to be pathogenic in both sporadic and inherited Parkinson’s disease (PD), with loss-of-function mutations in PARK2 being the most frequent cause of autosomal recessive PD. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether mitophagy induced by USP30 inhibition provides a functional rescue in isogenic human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived dopaminergic neurons with and without PARK2 knockout (KO). Our data show that healthy neurons responded to CCCP-induced mitochondrial damage by clearing the impaired mitochondria and that this process was accelerated by USP30 inhibition. Parkin-deficient neurons showed an impaired mitophagic response to the CCCP challenge, although mitochondrial ubiquitination was enhanced. USP30 inhibition promoted mitophagy in PARK2 KO neurons, independently of whether left in basal conditions or treated with CCCP. In PARK2 KO, as in control neurons, USP30 inhibition balanced oxidative stress levels by reducing excessive production of reactive oxygen species. Interestingly, non-dopaminergic neurons were the main driver of the beneficial effects of USP30 inhibition. Our findings demonstrate that USP30 inhibition is a promising approach to boost mitophagy and improve cellular health, also in parkin-deficient cells, and support the potential relevance of USP30 inhibitors as a novel therapeutic approach in diseases with a need to combat neuronal stress mediated by impaired mitochondria.

Original languageEnglish
Article number52
JournalCell Death and Disease
Issue number1
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


Dive into the research topics of 'USP30 inhibition induces mitophagy and reduces oxidative stress in parkin-deficient human neurons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this