Mitochondria and apoptosis

Science. 1998 Aug 28;281(5381):1309-12. doi: 10.1126/science.281.5381.1309.


A variety of key events in apoptosis focus on mitochondria, including the release of caspase activators (such as cytochrome c), changes in electron transport, loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential, altered cellular oxidation-reduction, and participation of pro- and antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins. The different signals that converge on mitochondria to trigger or inhibit these events and their downstream effects delineate several major pathways in physiological cell death.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Cytochrome c Group / metabolism
  • Electron Transport
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Membranes / metabolism
  • Ion Channels / metabolism
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Permeability
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism


  • Cytochrome c Group
  • Ion Channels
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases