VDAC isoforms in mammals

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Jun;1818(6):1466-76. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2011.10.005. Epub 2011 Oct 12.


VDACs (Voltage Dependent Anion selective Channels) are a family of pore-forming proteins discovered in the mitochondrial outer membrane. In the animal kingdom, mammals show a conserved genetic organization of the VDAC genes, corresponding to a group of three active genes. Three VDAC protein isoforms thus exist. From a historically point of view most of the data collected about this protein refer to the VDAC1 isoform, the first to be identified and also the most abundant in the organisms. In this work we compare the information available about the three VDAC isoforms, with a special emphasis upon the human proteins, here considered prototypical of the group, and we try to shed some light on specific functional roles of this apparently redundant group of proteins. A new hypothesis about the VDAC(s) involvement in ROS control is proposed. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: VDAC structure, function, and regulation of mitochondrial metabolism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mammals / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Isoforms / chemistry
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / isolation & purification
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Voltage-Dependent Anion Channels / chemistry
  • Voltage-Dependent Anion Channels / genetics
  • Voltage-Dependent Anion Channels / isolation & purification
  • Voltage-Dependent Anion Channels / metabolism*


  • Protein Isoforms
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Voltage-Dependent Anion Channels
  • Calcium