The mitochondrial death squad: hardened killers or innocent bystanders? Academic Article uri icon


  • Since the discovery that formation of the apoptosome in mammalian cells is triggered by cytochrome c released from the mitochondria, many other mitochondrial proteins have been suspected to be part of a conspiracy to cause cell death. AIF, EndoG, ANT, cyclophilin D, Bit1, p53AIP, GRIM-19, DAP3, Nur77/TR3/NGFB-1, HtrA2/Omi and Smac/Diablo have all been convicted as killers, but new genetic technology is raising questions about their guilt. Gene knockout experiments suggest that many were wrongly convicted on circumstantial evidence, and just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

publication date

  • December 2005