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Genes Dev. 2004 Nov 15;18(22):2785-97. Epub 2004 Nov 1.

Mitochondrial fission proteins regulate programmed cell death in yeast.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.

Abstract

The possibility that single-cell organisms undergo programmed cell death has been questioned in part because they lack several key components of the mammalian cell death machinery. However, yeast encode a homolog of human Drp1, a mitochondrial fission protein that was shown previously to promote mammalian cell death and the excessive mitochondrial fragmentation characteristic of apoptotic mammalian cells. In support of a primordial origin of programmed cell death involving mitochondria, we found that the Saccharomyces cerevisiae homolog of human Drp1, Dnm1, promotes mitochondrial fragmentation/degradation and cell death following treatment with several death stimuli. Two Dnm1-interacting factors also regulate yeast cell death. The WD40 repeat protein Mdv1/Net2 promotes cell death, consistent with its role in mitochondrial fission. In contrast to its fission function in healthy cells, Fis1 unexpectedly inhibits Dnm1-mediated mitochondrial fission and cysteine protease-dependent cell death in yeast. Furthermore, the ability of yeast Fis1 to inhibit mitochondrial fission and cell death can be functionally replaced by human Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL. Together, these findings indicate that yeast and mammalian cells have a conserved programmed death pathway regulated by a common molecular component, Drp1/Dnm1, that is inhibited by a Bcl-2-like function.

PMID:
15520274
PMCID:
PMC528898
DOI:
10.1101/gad.1247904
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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