Editors' ChoiceApoptosis

Lying in Wait

Science's STKE  29 Jul 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 193, pp. tw296-TW296
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.193.tw296

Activated oligomers of the BAX protein promote apoptosis (cell death) by enhancing permeabilization of the outer mitochondrial membrane. An inactive monomeric form of BAX appears to be sequestered in the mitochondrial membrane. Cheng et al. found that a particular isoform of the mitochondrial voltage-dependent anion channel, VDAC2, interacted with BAX in vivo. VDAC proteins are thought to contribute to regulation of mitochondrial metabolic functions as well as to provide a protein-conducting pore for release of apoptotic factors into the cytoplasm.

E. H.-Y. Cheng, T. V. Sheiko, J. K. Fisher, W. J. Craigen, S. J. Korsmeyer, VDAC2 inhibits BAK activation and mitochondrial apoptosis. Science 301, 513-517 (2003). [Abstract] [Full Text]