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The Release Of Cytochrome C From Mitochondria: A Primary Site For Bcl-2 Regulation Of Apoptosis

R. Kluck, E. Bossy-Wetzel, D. Green, D. Newmeyer
Published 1997 · Medicine, Biology
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In a cell-free apoptosis system, mitochondria spontaneously released cytochrome c, which activated DEVD-specific caspases, leading to fodrin cleavage and apoptotic nuclear morphology. Bcl-2 acted in situ on mitochondria to prevent the release of cytochrome c and thus caspase activation. During apoptosis in intact cells, cytochrome c translocation was similarly blocked by Bcl-2 but not by a caspase inhibitor, zVAD-fmk. In vitro, exogenous cytochrome c bypassed the inhibitory effect of Bcl-2. Cytochrome c release was unaccompanied by changes in mitochondrial membrane potential. Thus, Bcl-2 acts to inhibit cytochrome c translocation, thereby blocking caspase activation and the apoptotic process.



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