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Cell Res. 2000 Sep;10(3):161-7.

Signal transduction mediated by Bid, a pro-death Bcl-2 family proteins, connects the death receptor and mitochondria apoptosis pathways.

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Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA 15261, USA.


Two major apoptosis pathways have been defined in mammalian cells, the Fas/TNF-R1 death receptor pathway and the mitochondria pathway. The Bcl-2 family proteins consist of both anti-apoptosis and pro-apoptosis members that regulate apoptosis, mainly by controlling the release of cytochrome c and other mitochondrial apoptotic events. However, death signals mediated by Fas/TNF-R1 receptors can usually activate caspases directly, bypassing the need for mitochondria and escaping the regulation by Bcl-2 family proteins. Bid is a novel pro-apoptosis Bcl-2 family protein that is activated by caspase 8 in response to Fas/TNF-R1 death receptor signals. Activated Bid is translocated to mitochondria and induces cytochrome c release, which in turn activates downstream caspases. Such a connection between the two apoptosis pathways could be important for induction of apoptosis in certain types of cells and responsible for the pathogenesis of a number of human diseases.

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