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Oncogene. 2007 Apr 19;26(18):2606-20. Epub 2006 Oct 30.

GAPDH, a novel regulator of the pro-apoptotic mitochondrial membrane permeabilization.

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CNRS UMR 8159, Université de Versailles/SQY, Versailles, France.


Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) is a pleiotropic enzyme that is overexpressed in apoptosis and in several human chronic pathologies. Here, we report that the protein accumulates in mitochondria during apoptosis, and induces the pro-apoptotic mitochondrial membrane permeabilization, a decisive event of the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis. GAPDH was localized by immunogold labeling and identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight and nano liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy/mass spectroscopy in the mitochondrion of various tissues and origins. In isolated mitochondria, GAPDH can be imported and interact with the voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC1), but not the adenine nucleotide translocase (ANT). The protein mediates a cyclosporin A-inhibitable permeability transition, characterized by a loss of the inner transmembrane potential, matrix swelling, permeabilization of the inner mitochondrial membrane and the release of two pro-apoptotic proteins, cytochrome c and apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF). This novel function of GAPDH might have implications for the understanding of mitochondrial biology, oncogenesis and apoptosis.

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