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Damage to mitochondria can lead to the depolarization of the inner mitochondrial membrane, thereby sensitizing impaired mitochondria for selective elimination by autophagy. However, fusion of uncoupled mitochondria with polarized mitochondria can compensate for damage, reverse membrane depolarization, and obviate mitophagy. Parkin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase(More)
The cytoplasmic dynamin-related guanosine triphosphatase Drp1 is recruited to mitochondria and mediates mitochondrial fission. Although the mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM) protein Fis1 is thought to be a Drp1 receptor, this has not been confirmed. To analyze the mechanism of Drp1 recruitment, we manipulated the expression of mitochondrial fission and(More)
Bcl-2 family proteins are potent regulators of programmed cell death. Although their intracellular localization to mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum has focused research on these organelles, how they function remains unknown. Two members of the Bcl-2 family, Bax and Bak, change intracellular location early in the promotion of apoptosis to(More)
MCL-1, an anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family member that is essential for the survival of multiple cell lineages, is also among the most highly amplified genes in cancer. Although MCL-1 is known to oppose cell death, precisely how it functions to promote survival of normal and malignant cells is poorly understood. Here, we report that different forms of MCL-1(More)
PTEN-induced novel kinase 1 (PINK1) mutations are associated with autosomal recessive parkinsonism. Previous studies have shown that PINK1 influences both mitochondrial function and morphology although it is not clearly established which of these are primary events and which are secondary. Here, we describe a novel mechanism linking mitochondrial(More)
The Bcl-2 family member Bax translocates from the cytosol to mitochondria, where it oligomerizes and permeabilizes the mitochondrial outer membrane to promote apoptosis. Bax activity is counteracted by prosurvival Bcl-2 proteins, but how they inhibit Bax remains controversial because they neither colocalize nor form stable complexes with Bax. We constrained(More)
The regulation of both mitochondrial dynamics and apoptosis is key for maintaining the health of a cell. Bcl-2 family proteins, central in apoptosis regulation, also have roles in the maintenance of the mitochondrial network. Here we report that Bax and Bak participate in the regulation of mitochondrial fusion in mouse embryonic fibroblasts, primary mouse(More)
Withaferin A (WFA) is a steroidal lactone present in Withania somnifera which has been shown in vitro to bind to the intermediate filament protein, vimentin. Based upon its affinity for vimentin, it has been proposed that WFA can be used as an anti-tumor agent to target metastatic cells which up-regulate vimentin expression. We show that WFA treatment of(More)
In mammals, fusion of the mitochondrial outer membrane is controlled by two DRPs, MFN1 and MFN2, that function in place of a single outer membrane DRP, Fzo1 in yeast. We addressed the significance of two mammalian outer membrane fusion DRPs using an in vitro mammalian mitochondrial fusion assay. We demonstrate that heterotypic MFN1-MFN2 trans complexes(More)
Although intermediate filaments are one of three major cytoskeletal systems of vertebrate cells, they remain the least understood with respect to their structure and function. This is due in part to the fact that they are encoded by a large gene family which is developmentally regulated in a cell and tissue type specific fashion. This article is in honor of(More)