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FEBS Lett. 2004 Jun 1;567(1):111-5.

Participation of endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondrial calcium handling in apoptosis: more than just neighborhood?

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Department of Experimental and Diagnostic Medicine, Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Inflammation (ICSI), University of Ferrara, Via Borsari 46, 44100 Ferrara, Italy.


Over the past few years, extensive progress has been made in elucidating the role of calcium in the signaling of apoptosis. This has led to the characterization of calcium's role in the induction of apoptosis and in the regulation of effector proteases. In this review, we attempt to summarize the current knowledge regarding a segment of these studies, the interaction between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria. This interface has been shown to play a crucial role in transferring agonist induced Ca(2+) signals to mitochondria during physiological processes. Recent evidence, however, extended the role of this Ca(2+) transfer to apoptotic pathways, showing that modulation of mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake from the ER side has a prominent role in modulating cellular fate.

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