Mitochondrial regulation of cell death

Tait, S.W.T. and Green, D.R. (2013) Mitochondrial regulation of cell death. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology, 5(9), a008706. (doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a008706)

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Although required for life, paradoxically, mitochondria are often essential for initiating apoptotic cell death. Mitochondria regulate caspase activation and cell death through an event termed mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP); this leads to the release of various mitochondrial intermembrane space proteins that activate caspases, resulting in apoptosis. MOMP is often considered a point of no return because it typically leads to cell death, even in the absence of caspase activity. Because of this pivotal role in deciding cell fate, deregulation of MOMP impacts on many diseases and represents a fruitful site for therapeutic intervention. Here we discuss the mechanisms underlying mitochondrial permeabilization and how this key event leads to cell death through caspase-dependent and -independent means. We then proceed to explore how the release of mitochondrial proteins may be regulated following MOMP. Finally, we discuss mechanisms that enable cells sometimes to survive MOMP, allowing them, in essence, to return from the point of no return.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Tait, Professor Stephen
Authors: Tait, S.W.T., and Green, D.R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology
Publisher:Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
ISSN (Online):1943-0264

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