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Science 310 (5745): 66-67

Copyright © 2005 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Connected to Death: The (Unexpurgated) Mitochondrial Pathway of Apoptosis

Diana Spierings, Gavin McStay, Maya Saleh,* Cheryl Bender, Jerry Chipuk, Uli Maurer, Douglas R. Green{dagger}{ddagger}

Abstract: The mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis in vertebrates is dependent on the process of mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP), which leads to the release of proteins from the mitochondrial intermembrane space into the cytosol. "Upstairs" of this event are the Bcl-2 family proteins that regulate and mediate MOMP; "downstairs" is the activation of caspases that orchestrate the dismantling of the cell. In the Connections Map database at Science's Signal Transduction Knowledge Environment (STKE), the pathways that define the mitochondrial pathway of apotosis are illustrated, with the bulk of control occurring "upstairs" of MOMP.

La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, 10355 Science Center Drive, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

* Present address: Department of Medicine, McGill University, 687 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1A1, Canada.

{dagger} Present address: Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 332 North Lauderdale, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.

{ddagger} To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: dgreen5240{at}aol.com


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