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Cell. 2012 Mar 2;148(5):845-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.02.006.

Greasing the path to BAX/BAK activation.

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  • 1SFI Molecular Cell Biology Laboratory, Department of Genetics, The Smurfit Institute, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland.


BAX/BAK activation leading to mitochondrial outer-membrane permeabilization is a key commitment point in apoptosis. Chipuk et al. now identify two sphingolipids as specific cofactors for BAX/BAK activation that lower the threshold for apoptosis-associated cytochrome c release. Association of mitochondria with other cellular membrane compartments is required for BAK/BAX exposure to these sphingolipids.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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