Dana Westphal

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In stressed cells, apoptosis ensues when Bcl-2 family members Bax or Bak oligomerize and permeabilize the mitochondrial outer membrane. Certain BH3-only relatives can directly activate them to mediate this pivotal, poorly understood step. To clarify the conformational changes that induce Bax oligomerization, we determined crystal structures of BaxΔC21(More)
During apoptosis, Bak and Bax permeabilize the mitochondrial outer membrane by undergoing major conformational change and oligomerization. This activation process in Bak is reported to require dephosphorylation of tyrosine-108 close to an activation trigger site. To investigate how dephosphorylation of Bak contributes to its activation and conformational(More)
The BH3-only protein Bim is a potent direct activator of the proapoptotic effector protein Bax, but the structural basis for its activity has remained poorly defined. Here we describe the crystal structure of the BimBH3 peptide bound to BaxΔC26 and structure-based mutagenesis studies. Similar to BidBH3, the BimBH3 peptide binds into the cognate surface(More)
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