Apoptosis: mitochondrial membrane permeabilization--the (w)hole story?

Curr Biol. 2003 Jan 21;13(2):R71-3. doi: 10.1016/s0960-9822(02)01433-1.


One critical step of apoptosis is the release of mitochondrial proteins through the outer mitochondrial membrane. Recent work shows that two pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins, Bax and Bid, as well as the mitochondrion-specific lipid cardiolipin may cooperate in chemically defined liposomes to generate a protein-permeable conduit, relaunching the debate on the identity of the pore responsible for mitochondrial membrane permeabilization during apoptosis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • BH3 Interacting Domain Death Agonist Protein
  • Cardiolipins / metabolism
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Intracellular Membranes / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Permeability
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2*
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein


  • BH3 Interacting Domain Death Agonist Protein
  • Cardiolipins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • Caspases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases