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Biochimie. 2002 Feb-Mar;84(2-3):113-21.

And all of a sudden it's over: mitochondrial outer-membrane permeabilization in apoptosis.

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Division of Cellular Immunology, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, 10355 Science Center Drive, San Diego, California 92121, USA.


Identification of pro-apoptotic activities for a variety of proteins normally resident in the mitochondrial inter-membrane space has substantiated the role of mitochondria as integral to the apoptotic process. Cytochrome c is involved in apoptosome formation and caspase activation, SMAC/Diablo deregulates the inhibitor of apoptosis proteins, apoptosis-inducing factor may play a role in chromatin condensation and release of other proteins such as adenylate kinase may adversely affect cellular metabolism and contribute to the death of a cell if the downstream apoptotic pathway is blocked. It is still unclear how these proteins are released from the mitochondria. Recent advances in our knowledge of mitochondrial outer-membrane permeabilization and the consequences of this event on mitochondria will be discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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