Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Cell Biol. 2002 Jan;22(1):94-104.

Bcl-2 family members and functional electron transport chain regulate oxygen deprivation-induced cell death.

Author information

Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois 60601-3010, USA.


The mechanisms underlying cell death during oxygen deprivation are unknown. We report here a model for oxygen deprivation-induced apoptosis. The death observed during oxygen deprivation involves a decrease in the mitochondrial membrane potential, followed by the release of cytochrome c and the activation of caspase-9. Bcl-X(L) prevented oxygen deprivation-induced cell death by inhibiting the release of cytochrome c and caspase-9 activation. The ability of Bcl-X(L) to prevent cell death was dependent on allowing the import of glycolytic ATP into the mitochondria to generate an inner mitochondrial membrane potential through the F(1)F(0)-ATP synthase. In contrast, although activated Akt has been shown to inhibit apoptosis induced by a variety of apoptotic stimuli, it did not prevent cell death during oxygen deprivation. In addition to Bcl-X(L), cells devoid of mitochondrial DNA (rho degrees cells) that lack a functional electron transport chain were resistant to oxygen deprivation. Further, murine embryonic fibroblasts from bax(-/-) bak(-/-) mice did not die in response to oxygen deprivation. These data suggest that when subjected to oxygen deprivation, cells die as a result of an inability to maintain a mitochondrial membrane potential through the import of glycolytic ATP. Proapoptotic Bcl-2 family members and a functional electron transport chain are required to initiate cell death in response to oxygen deprivation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center