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Proteins in the Bcl-2 family are central regulators of programmed cell death, and members that inhibit apoptosis, such as Bcl-X(L) and Bcl-2, are overexpressed in many cancers and contribute to tumour initiation, progression and resistance to therapy. Bcl-X(L) expression correlates with chemo-resistance of tumour cell lines, and reductions in Bcl-2 increase(More)
A variety of key events in apoptosis focus on mitochondria, including the release of caspase activators (such as cytochrome c), changes in electron transport, loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential, altered cellular oxidation-reduction, and participation of pro- and antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins. The different signals that converge on(More)
The accumulation of unfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) represents a cellular stress induced by multiple stimuli and pathological conditions. These include hypoxia, oxidative injury, high-fat diet, hypoglycaemia, protein inclusion bodies and viral infection. ER stress triggers an evolutionarily conserved series of signal-transduction events,(More)
The bax gene promoter region contains four motifs with homology to consensus p53-binding sites. In cotransfection assays using p53-deficient tumor cell lines, wild-type but not mutant p53 expression plasmids transactivated a reporter gene plasmid that utilized the bax gene promoter to drive transcription of chloramphenicol acetyltransferase. In addition,(More)
Disturbances in the normal functions of the ER lead to an evolutionarily conserved cell stress response, the unfolded protein response, which is aimed initially at compensating for damage but can eventually trigger cell death if ER dysfunction is severe or prolonged. The mechanisms by which ER stress leads to cell death remain enigmatic, with multiple(More)
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) serves as a cellular storehouse for Ca(2+), and Ca(2+) released from the ER plays a role in a host of critical signaling reactions, including exocytosis, contraction, metabolism, regulation of transcription, fertilization, and apoptosis. Given the central role played by the ER, our understanding of these signaling processes(More)
The proapoptotic Bax protein induces cell death by acting on mitochondria. Bax binds to the permeability transition pore complex (PTPC), a composite proteaceous channel that is involved in the regulation of mitochondrial membrane permeability. Immunodepletion of Bax from PTPC or purification of PTPC from Bax-deficient mice yielded a PTPC that could not(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)
The Ca2+-activated protein phosphatase calcineurin induces apoptosis, but the mechanism is unknown. Calcineurin was found to dephosphorylate BAD, a pro-apoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family, thus enhancing BAD heterodimerization with Bcl-xL and promoting apoptosis. The Ca2+-induced dephosphorylation of BAD correlated with its dissociation from 14-3-3 in the(More)