Mutations in PARKIN or PINK1 genes can cause autosomal recessive juvenile Parkinson's disease. In recent years, it has been revealed that they participate in mitochondrial quality control. Their products, Parkin and PINK1, modify dysfunctional mitochondria with polyubiquitin chains to promote selective autophagy (mitophagy) that eliminates dysfunctional mitochondria from cells. The woman in this drawing is removing unwanted seeds from the watermelon just as mitophagy eliminates dysfunctional mitochondria.
Kyoto's Gion Matsuri is one of Japan's three greatest festivals, and its highlight is Yamahoko Junko (decorated floats' parade) in which many decorated floats with hundreds of years of tradition parade through the central part of Kyoto. Now, is the float passing by in front of us Naginata-boko that is famous for its naginata (long-handled sword) on top? No, it is the 'telomere' float. In the T-loop-like structure of the telomere extending upward on the roof, you can see two Shagumas (straw ornaments) likened to TRF1 and TRF2 bound to the double strand region and Ohata (flag) likened POT1 bound to the 3′-single-stranded overhang. These factors are comprised of the shelterin complex and need to work cooperatively and continuously for maintenance the telomere structure. Such unremitting efforts are needed to preserve not only traditions, but also telomeres.