Mitochondria as the central control point of apoptosis

Trends Cell Biol. 2000 Sep;10(9):369-77. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(00)01803-1.


Mitochondria play a major role in apoptosis triggered by many stimuli. They integrate death signals through Bcl-2 family members and coordinate caspase activation through the release of cytochrome c as a result of the outer mitochondrial membrane becoming permeable. The mechanisms that lead to this permeability are not yet completely understood. Here, we attempt to summarize our current view of the mechanisms that lead to the efflux of many proteins from mitochondria during apoptosis and the role played by Bcl-2 family proteins in the control of this event.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / physiology*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2