Mitochondria have a pivotal role in the maintenance of cell homeostasis and survival. Mitochondria are involved in processes such as ATP production, reactive oxygen species production, apoptosis induction, calcium homeostasis and protein degradation. Thus, mechanisms that regulate the intrinsic quality of mitochondria have a crucial role in dictating overall cell fate. The importance of these well-regulated mechanisms is highlighted in disease scenarios such as neurodegeneration, cancer and neuromuscular atrophy. How mitochondria senses and regulates their intrinsic quality control, and consequently cell survival, is still not fully understood. In this review, we discuss the pathways that are at present considered as state-of-the-art for mitochondria quality control regulation, and highlight a mitochondrial protein-PINK1-that has revealed to act as a mitochondrial gatekeeper able to sense the presence of healthy or damaged mitochondria. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.