Regulation of mitochondrial morphological dynamics during apoptosis by Bcl-2 family proteins: a key in Bak?

Brooks C, Dong Z
Cell Cycle. 2007 6 (24): 3043-7

PMID: 18073534 · DOI:10.4161/cc.6.24.5115

Early during apoptosis, the mitochondrial network collapses into short punctuate fragments. The seemingly morphological change, called mitochondrial fragmentation, contributes to mitochondrial injury. Mitochondrial morphology is dictated by two opposing processes, fission and fusion. It is unclear how the fission-fusion balance is tilted during apoptosis, resulting in mitochondrial fragmentation. Emerging evidence has now suggested a regulation of mitochondrial morphological dynamics by Bcl-2 family proteins. In this regulation, Bak appears to be a key. Through interaction with mitofusins, Bak may block mitochondrial fusion to induce fragmentation. By this function, Bak may collaborate with Bax to permeabilize mitochondrial outer membrane, leading to the release of apoptogenic factors.

MeSH Terms (8)

Animals Apoptosis bcl-2 Homologous Antagonist-Killer Protein bcl-2-Associated X Protein Humans Membrane Fusion Mitochondria Mitochondrial Membranes

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