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The Bcl-2-related protein, Bcl-XL, has been shown to block apoptosis induced by a variety of stimuli and to be a stronger protector against apoptosis than Bcl-2 under certain circumstances. Using site-specific mutagenesis, we show here that the amino-acid residues critical for protection of cells by Bcl-XL against Sindbis virus-induced apoptosis are(More)
Caspases are a family of cysteine proteases implicated in the biochemical and morphological changes that occur during apoptosis (programmed cell death). The loop domain of Bcl-2 is cleaved at Asp34 by caspase-3 (CPP32) in vitro, in cells overexpressing caspase-3, and after induction of apoptosis by Fas ligation and interleukin-3 withdrawal. The(More)
Maturation of neuronal synapses is thought to involve mitochondria. Bcl-xL protein inhibits mitochondria-mediated apoptosis but may have other functions in healthy adult neurons in which Bcl-xL is abundant. Here, we report that overexpression of Bcl-xL postsynaptically increases frequency and amplitude of spontaneous miniature synaptic currents in rat(More)
Cell death is essential for a plethora of physiological processes, and its deregulation characterizes numerous human diseases. Thus, the in-depth investigation of cell death and its mechanisms constitutes a formidable challenge for fundamental and applied biomedical research, and has tremendous implications for the development of novel therapeutic(More)
Genetic mutations affecting mitochondrial fission and fusion proteins cause human neurological disorders, but are assumed to be well tolerated in yeast. The conserved mitochondrial fission protein Dnm1/Drp1 is required for normal mitochondrial division, but also promotes cell death in mammals and yeast. Fis1, an outer mitochondrial membrane-anchored(More)
Anti-apoptotic Bcl2 family proteins such as Bcl-x(L) protect cells from death by sequestering apoptotic molecules, but also contribute to normal neuronal function. We find in hippocampal neurons that Bcl-x(L) enhances the efficiency of energy metabolism. Our evidence indicates that Bcl-x(L)interacts directly with the β-subunit of the F(1)F(O) ATP synthase,(More)
Little is known about virus-host cell interactions that regulate the lytic potential of viruses during productive replication. Sindbis virus (SV), a single-stranded positive-sense RNA virus in the alphavirus genus (family Togaviridae), results in lytic infection in most vertebrate cell lines, but persistent productive infection in post-mitotic neurons. The(More)
A new technique based on diffusion tensor imaging and computational neuroanatomy was developed to efficiently and quantitatively characterize the three-dimensional morphology of the developing brains. The technique was used to analyze the phenotype of conditional Bcl-x knock-out mice, in which the bcl-x gene was deleted specifically in neurons of the(More)
Oxidative stress has been proposed as a common mediator of apoptotic death. To investigate further the role of oxidants in this process we have studied the effects of antioxidants on Sindbis virus (SV)-induced apoptosis in two cell lines, AT-3 (a prostate carcinoma line) and N18 (a neuroblastoma line). The thiol antioxidant, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), at(More)
Mammalian Bcl-x(L) protein localizes to the outer mitochondrial membrane, where it inhibits apoptosis by binding Bax and inhibiting Bax-induced outer membrane permeabilization. Contrary to expectation, we found by electron microscopy and biochemical approaches that endogenous Bcl-x(L) also localized to inner mitochondrial cristae. Two-photon microscopy of(More)