AIF: A Multifunctional Cog in the Life and Death Machine

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Science's STKE  29 Jul 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 193, pp. pe31
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.193.pe31

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Mitochondria have a dual role in cellular life and death as life-promoting energy providers and as contributors to programmed cell death (apoptosis). The precise sequence of events resulting in the permeabilization of the mitochondrial membrane and the release of mitochondrial resident proteins remains an actively explored topic. Hansen and Nagley describe results from mammalian cells and from the nematode C. elegans that lead to a feedforward model for mitochondrial destabilization. Furthermore, they describe the mitochondrial and apoptotic functions of several proteins released from mitochondria during progression toward cell death.

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