Donald D . Newmeyer

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In a cell-free apoptosis system, mitochondria spontaneously released cytochrome c, which activated DEVD-specific caspases, leading to fodrin cleavage and apoptotic nuclear morphology. Bcl-2 acted in situ on mitochondria to prevent the release of cytochrome c and thus caspase activation. During apoptosis in intact cells, cytochrome c translocation was(More)
Using a Bax-dependent membrane-permeabilization assay, we show that peptides corresponding to the BH3 domains of Bcl-2 family "BH3-only" proteins have dual functions. Several BH3 peptides relieved the inhibition of Bax caused by the antiapoptotic Bcl-x(L) and/or Mcl-1 proteins, some displaying a specificity for either Bcl-x(L) or Mcl-1. Besides having this(More)
The tumor suppressor p53 exerts its anti-neoplastic activity primarily through the induction of apoptosis. We found that cytosolic localization of endogenous wild-type or trans-activation-deficient p53 was necessary and sufficient for apoptosis. p53 directly activated the proapoptotic Bcl-2 protein Bax in the absence of other proteins to permeabilize(More)
Bcl-2 family proteins regulate the release of proteins like cytochrome c from mitochondria during apoptosis. We used cell-free systems and ultimately a vesicular reconstitution from defined molecules to show that outer membrane permeabilization by Bcl-2 family proteins requires neither the mitochondrial matrix, the inner membrane, nor other proteins. Bid,(More)
Exit of cytochrome c from mitochondria into the cytosol has been implicated as an important step in apoptosis. In the cytosol, cytochrome c binds to the CED-4 homologue, Apaf-1, thereby triggering Apaf-1-mediated activation of caspase-9. Caspase-9 is thought to propagate the death signal by triggering other caspase activation events, the details of which(More)
Mitochondrial cytochrome c, which functions as an electron carrier in the respiratory chain, translocates to the cytosol in cells undergoing apoptosis, where it participates in the activation of DEVD-specific caspases. The apoptosis inhibitors Bcl-2 or Bcl-xL prevent the efflux of cytochrome c from mitochondria. The mechanism responsible for the release of(More)
Large nuclear proteins must possess a signal sequence to pass through the nuclear pores. Using an in vitro system, we have been able experimentally to dissect nuclear protein transport into two distinct steps: binding and translocation. In the absence of ATP, we observe a binding of nuclear proteins to the pore that is signal sequence-dependent.(More)
Selective transport of proteins is a major mechanism by which biochemical differences are maintained between the cytoplasm and nucleus. To begin to investigate the molecular mechanism of nuclear transport, we used an in vitro transport system composed of a Xenopus egg extract, rat liver nuclei, and a fluorescently labeled nuclear protein, nucleoplasmin.(More)
Mitochondria are central to many forms of cell death, usually via the release of pro-apoptotic proteins from the mitochondrial intermembrane space. Some intermembrane space proteins, including cytochrome c, Smac/DIABLO, and Omi/Htra2, can induce or enhance caspase activation, whereas others, such as AIF and endonuclease G, might act in a caspase-independent(More)
Apoptotic cell death involves a ritual series of morphological changes, presumably reflecting a conserved molecular pathway. We now report that the nuclear events typical of apoptosis can be reproduced in "apoptotic" Xenopus egg extracts. In this cell-free system, nuclear assembly and protein import are initially normal; after 2-4 hr, however, a process of(More)