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Development. 2011 Jan;138(2):327-38. doi: 10.1242/dev.057943.

Bcl-2 proteins and autophagy regulate mitochondrial dynamics during programmed cell death in the Drosophila ovary.

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Department of Biology, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


The Bcl-2 family has been shown to regulate mitochondrial dynamics during cell death in mammals and C. elegans, but evidence for this in Drosophila has been elusive. Here, we investigate the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics during germline cell death in the Drosophila melanogaster ovary. We find that mitochondria undergo a series of events during the progression of cell death, with remodeling, cluster formation and uptake of clusters by somatic follicle cells. These mitochondrial dynamics are dependent on caspases, the Bcl-2 family, the mitochondrial fission and fusion machinery, and the autophagy machinery. Furthermore, Bcl-2 family mutants show a striking defect in cell death in the ovary. These data indicate that a mitochondrial pathway is a major mechanism for activation of cell death in Drosophila oogenesis.

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