Mitochondria--the Death Signal Integrators

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Science  18 Aug 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5482, pp. 1150-1151
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5482.1150

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Many of the intricate pathways of apoptosis that instruct a cell to kill itself involve the convergence of key proteins on the membranes of mitochondria. Such proteins induce the permeabilization of mitochondrial membranes and the release of caspase enzymes and nuclease activators that set in motion the final stages of programmed cell death. Now, as Brenner and Kroemer discuss in their Perspective, a proapoptotic transcription factor called TR3 has been found to move from its normal location in the nucleus to the mitochondria and to promote release of cytochrome c, a key event in apoptosis ( Li et al.)