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The Journal of cell biology

Spatial and temporal association of Bax with mitochondrial fission sites, Drp1, and Mfn2 during apoptosis.


PMID 12499352

Abstract

We find that Bax, a proapoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family, translocates to discrete foci on mitochondria during the initial stages of apoptosis, which subsequently become mitochondrial scission sites. A dominant negative mutant of Drp1, Drp1K38A, inhibits apoptotic scission of mitochondria, but does not inhibit Bax translocation or coalescence into foci. However, Drp1K38A causes the accumulation of mitochondrial fission intermediates that are associated with clusters of Bax. Surprisingly, Drp1 and Mfn2, but not other proteins implicated in the regulation of mitochondrial morphology, colocalize with Bax in these foci. We suggest that Bax participates in apoptotic fragmentation of mitochondria.