Observation of real time interactions of Bcl-2 family members during apoptosis

B. Herman, V. Frohlich, M. Qiu, A. Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Apoptosis is a physiological process of cell death resulting from an intricate cascade of sequential protein-protein interactions. Using donor and acceptor mutant GFP fusion constructs, we have monitored the interaction between specific pro- and anti-apoptotic members of the Bcl-2 family with each other as well as proteins located in the outer mitochondrial membrane, as current hypotheses regarding apoptosis suggest that interaction of Bcl-2 family members with each other, or with other mitochondrial membrane proteins, regulates apoptosis. Our data indicate that specific interactions between pro-and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members do occur in situ in the mitochondrial membrane, are altered during apoptosis and regulate cellular sensitivity to apoptosis. These findings are the first to demonstrate real time protein-protein interactions in situ at the level of individual mitochondria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-162
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes
EventMultiphoton Microscopy in the Biomedical Sciences - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 21 2001Jan 23 2001


  • ANT
  • Apoptosis
  • Bcl-2
  • Cytochrome c
  • Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)
  • Protein-protein interactions
  • VDAC


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