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EMBO J. May 4, 1999; 18(9): 2330–2341.
PMCID: PMC1171316

Conformation of the Bax C-terminus regulates subcellular location and cell death.

Abstract

Bax, a pro-apoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family, translocates from the cytosol to the mitochondria during programmed cell death. We report here that both gain-of-function and loss-of-function mutations can be achieved by altering a single amino acid in the Bax hydrophobic C-terminus. The properly mutated C-terminus of Bax can target a non-relevant protein to the mitochondria, showing that specific conformations of this domain alone allow mitochondrial docking. These data along with N-terminus epitope exposure experiments suggest that the C- and the N-termini interact and that upon triggering of apoptosis, Bax changes conformation, exposing these two domains to insert into the mitochondria and regulate the cell death machinery.

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Selected References

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