Faculté des sciences

Temporal dissection of Bax-induced events leading to fission of the single mitochondrion in Trypanosoma brucei

Crausaz Esseiva, Anne ; Chanez, Anne-Laure ; Bochud-Allemann, Natacha ; Martinou, Jean-Claude ; Hemphill, Andrew ; Schneider, André

In: EMBO reports, 2004, vol. 5, p. 268-273

The protozoan Trypanosoma brucei has a single mitochondrion and lacks an apoptotic machinery. Here we show that expression of the proapoptotic protein Bax in T. brucei causes the release of cytochrome c, the depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial fission. However, in contrast to mammalian cells, the three events are temporally well separated. The release of... Plus

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    Summary
    The protozoan Trypanosoma brucei has a single mitochondrion and lacks an apoptotic machinery. Here we show that expression of the proapoptotic protein Bax in T. brucei causes the release of cytochrome c, the depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial fission. However, in contrast to mammalian cells, the three events are temporally well separated. The release of cytochrome c from the intermembrane space precedes mitochondrial fission, showing that it does not depend on mitochondrial fragmentation. Furthermore, halting Bax expression allows some cells to recover even after mitochondrial fission, the last recorded event, went to completion, indicating that all three Bax-induced events are, in principle, reversible.