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During apoptosis, the mitochondrial network fragments. Using short hairpin RNAs for RNA interference, we manipulated the expression levels of the proteins hFis1, Drp1, and Opa1 that are involved in mitochondrial fission and fusion in mammalian cells, and we characterized their functions in mitochondrial morphology and apoptosis. Down-regulation of hFis1(More)
We find that Bax, a proapoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family, translocates to discrete foci on mitochondria during the initial stages of apoptosis, which subsequently become mitochondrial scission sites. A dominant negative mutant of Drp1, Drp1K38A, inhibits apoptotic scission of mitochondria, but does not inhibit Bax translocation or coalescence into foci.(More)
Mitochondria are important participants in apoptosis, releasing cytochrome c into the cytoplasm and undergoing extensive fragmentation. However, mechanisms underlying these processes remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that cytochrome c release during apoptosis precedes mitochondrial fragmentation. Unexpectedly, OPA1, a dynamin-like GTPase of the(More)
Hibernation torpor provides an excellent natural model of tolerance to profound reductions in blood flow to the brain and other organs. Here, we report that during torpor of 13-lined ground squirrels, massive SUMOylation occurs in the brain, liver, and kidney. The level of small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) conjugation coincides with the expression(More)
Hibernation torpor provides an excellent model of natural tolerance to ischemia. We have previously shown that massive global SUMOylation occurs during hibernation torpor in ground squirrels. We have also shown that overexpression of Ubc9, SUMO-1, or SUMO-2/3 provides protection against ischemic damage in cell lines and cortical neurons exposed to(More)
Bcl-x(L) is a potent inhibitor of apoptosis. While Bcl-x(L) can be bound to mitochondria, a substantial fraction, depending on the cell type or tissue, is found in the cytosol of healthy cells. Gel filtration and crosslinking experiments reveal that, unlike monomeric Bax, Bcl-x(L) migrates in a complex of approximately 50 kDa in the cytosol.(More)
We have previously shown that a massive increase in global SUMOylation occurs during torpor in ground squirrels, and that overexpression of Ubc9 and/or SUMO-1 in cell lines and cortical neurons protects against oxygen and glucose deprivation. To examine whether increased global SUMOylation protects against ischemic brain damage, we have generated transgenic(More)
Hibernating squirrels slow blood flow to a crawl, but sustain no damage to brain or other tissues. This phenomenon provides an excellent model of natural tolerance to ischemia. Small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) is a 100-residue peptide that modifies other proteins by being attached to the epsilon amino group of specific lysine residues. The discovery of(More)
The molecular mechanisms underlying hypothermic neuroprotection have yet to be fully elucidated. Herein we demonstrate that global SUMOylation, a form of post-translational modification with the Small Ubiquitin-like MOdifer, participates in the multimodal molecular induction of hypothermia-induced ischemic tolerance. Mild (32°C) to moderate (28°C)(More)
Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) and its cleavage products regulate cell viability and NF-kappaB activity when expressed in neurons. PARP-1 cleavage generates a 24 kDa (PARP-1(24)) and an 89 kDa fragment (PARP-1(89)). Compared to WT (PARP-1WT), the expression of an uncleavable PARP-1 (PARP-1(UNCL)) or of PARP-1(24) conferred protection from(More)