Differential retrotranslocation of mitochondrial Bax and Bak

Todt, F. et al. (2015) Differential retrotranslocation of mitochondrial Bax and Bak. EMBO Journal, 34(1), pp. 67-80. (doi: 10.15252/embj.201488806) (PMID:25378477) (PMCID:PMC4291481)

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The Bcl‐2 proteins Bax and Bak can permeabilize the outer mitochondrial membrane and commit cells to apoptosis. Pro‐survival Bcl‐2 proteins control Bax by constant retrotranslocation into the cytosol of healthy cells. The stabilization of cytosolic Bax raises the question whether the functionally redundant but largely mitochondrial Bak shares this level of regulation. Here we report that Bak is retrotranslocated from the mitochondria by pro‐survival Bcl‐2 proteins. Bak is present in the cytosol of human cells and tissues, but low shuttling rates cause predominant mitochondrial Bak localization. Interchanging the membrane anchors of Bax and Bak reverses their subcellular localization compared to the wild‐type proteins. Strikingly, the reduction of Bax shuttling to the level of Bak retrotranslocation results in full Bax toxicity even in absence of apoptosis induction. Thus, fast Bax retrotranslocation is required to protect cells from commitment to programmed death.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ichim, Dr Gabriel and Tait, Professor Stephen
Authors: Todt, F., Cakir, Z., Reichenbach, F., Emschermann, F., Lauterwasser, J., Kaiser, A., Ichim, G., Tait, S. W., Frank, S., Langer, H. F., and Edlich, F.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:EMBO Journal
Publisher:EMBO Press
ISSN (Online):1460-2075
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