Member Listing


Alex Whitworth


MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit




Principal Investigator

Research Summary

Our group aims to understand the mechanisms of mitochondrial homeostasis in relation to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and motor neuron disease. We use a combination of the powerful genetic techniques of Drosophila and molecular, cell biology and biochemical approaches in mammalian cells. Insights into these mechanisms will deliver a greater understanding of the role of mitochondrial maintenance in the health and dysfunction of the nervous system in a physiological context and will help guide therapeutic development to combat neurodegenerative diseases.


Cell Biology, Genetics, Neuroscience

Selected Publications

Drosophila phosphatidylinositol-4 kinase fwd promotes mitochondrial fission and can suppress Pink1/parkin phenotypes.
Terriente-Felix A, Wilson EL, Whitworth AJ.
PLoS Genet. 2020 Oct 21;16(10):e1008844. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008844.

Mitochondrially-targeted APOBEC1 is a potent mtDNA mutator affecting mitochondrial function and organismal fitness in Drosophila.
Andreazza S, Samstag CL, Sanchez-Martinez A, Fernandez-Vizarra E, Gomez-Duran A, Lee JJ, Tufi R, Hipp MJ, Schmidt EK, Nicholls TJ, Gammage PA, Chinnery PF, Minczuk M, Pallanck LJ, Kennedy SR, Whitworth AJ.
Nat Commun. 2019 Jul 23;10(1):3280. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-10857-y.

Comprehensive Genetic Characterization of Mitochondrial Ca2+ Uniporter Components Reveals Their Different Physiological Requirements In Vivo.
Tufi R, Gleeson TP, von Stockum S, Hewitt VL, Lee JJ, Terriente-Felix A, Sanchez-Martinez A, Ziviani E, Whitworth AJ.
Cell Rep. 2019 Apr 30;27(5):1541-1550.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.04.033.

Basal mitophagy is widespread in Drosophila but minimally affected by loss of Pink1 or parkin.
Lee JJ, Sanchez-Martinez A, Martinez Zarate A, Benincá C, Mayor U, Clague MJ, Whitworth AJ.
J Cell Biol. 2018 May 7;217(5):1613-1622. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201801044.