Send to

Choose Destination
Oncogene. 2000 May 4;19(19):2286-95.

Apoptotic crosstalk between the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria controlled by Bcl-2.

Author information

Institute of Biochemistry, University of Fribourg, Switzerland.


Apoptosis involves mitochondrial steps such as the release of the apoptogenic factor cytochrome c which are effectively blocked by Bcl-2. Although Bcl-2 may have a direct action on the mitochondrial membrane, it also resides and functions on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and there is increasing evidence for a role of the ER in apoptosis regulation as well. Here we uncover a hitherto unrecognized, apoptotic crosstalk between the ER and mitochondria that is controlled by Bcl-2. After triggering massive ER dilation due to an inhibition of secretion, the drug brefeldin A (BFA) induces the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria in a caspase-8- and Bid-independent manner. This is followed by caspase-3 activation and DNA/nuclear fragmentation. Surprisingly, cytochrome c release by BFA is not only blocked by wild-type Bcl-2 but also by a Bcl-2 variant that is exclusively targeted to the ER (Bcl-2/cb5). Similar findings were obtained with tunicamycin, an agent interfering with N-linked glycosylations in the secretory system. Thus, apoptotic agents perturbing ER functions induce a novel crosstalk between the ER and mitochondria that can be interrupted by ER-based Bcl-2.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Publication type, MeSH terms, Substances

Publication type

MeSH terms


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center