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Cell Death Dis. 2014 Mar 6;5:e1101. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2014.72.

Chaperoning mitochondrial permeability transition: regulation of transition pore complex by a J-protein, DnaJC15.

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Department of Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India.


Mitochondria have a central role in the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis and involve activation of several transmembrane channels leading to release of death factors. Reduced expression of a mitochondrial J-protein DnaJC15 was associated with the development of chemoresistance in ovarian cancer cells. DnaJC15 was found to be a part of mitochondrial protein-transport machinery, though its connection with cell death mechanisms is still unclear. In the present study, we have provided evidence towards a novel function of DnaJC15 in regulation of mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) complex in normal and cancer cells. Overexpression of DnaJC15 resulted in MPTP opening and induction of apoptosis, whereas reduced amount of protein suppressed MPTP activation, upon cisplatin treatment. DnaJC15 was found to exert its proapoptotic function through the essential component of MPTP, cyclophilin D (CypD). Our results reveal a specific role of DnaJC15 in recruitment and coupling of CypD with mitochondrial permeability transition. In summary, our analysis provides first-time insights on the functional connection between mitochondrial inner membrane protein translocation machinery-associated J-protein DnaJC15 and regulation of cell death pathways.

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