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Cell Death Differ. 2005 Jun;12(6):603-13.

tBid induces alterations of mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation flux by malonyl-CoA-independent inhibition of carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1.

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  • 1Institute of Protein Biochemistry--IBP, CNR, Naples, Italy.


Recent studies suggest a close relationship between cell metabolism and apoptosis. We have evaluated changes in lipid metabolism on permeabilized hepatocytes treated with truncated Bid (tBid) in the presence of caspase inhibitors and exogenous cytochrome c. The measurement of beta-oxidation flux by labeled palmitate demonstrates that tBid inhibits beta-oxidation, thereby resulting in the accumulation of palmitoyl-coenzyme A (CoA) and depletion of acetyl-carnitine and acylcarnitines, which is pathognomonic for inhibition of carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 (CPT-1). We also show that tBid decreases CPT-1 activity by a mechanism independent of both malonyl-CoA, the key inhibitory molecule of CPT-1, and Bak and/or Bax, but dependent on cardiolipin decrease. Overexpression of Bcl-2, which is able to interact with CPT-1, counteracts the effects exerted by tBid on beta-oxidation. The unexpected role of tBid in the regulation of lipid beta-oxidation suggests a model in which tBid-induced metabolic decline leads to the accumulation of toxic lipid metabolites such as palmitoyl-CoA, which might become participants in the apoptotic pathway.

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