, Volume 256-257, Issue 1-2, pp 107-115

VDAC: The channel at the interface between mitochondria and the cytosol

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Abstract

The mitochondrial outer membrane is not just a barrier but a site of regulation of mitochondrial function. The VDAC family of proteins are the major pathways for metabolite flux through the outer membrane. These can be regulated in a variety of ways and the integration of these regulatory inputs allows mitochondrial metabolism to be adjusted to changing cellular conditions. This includes total blockage of the flux of anionic metabolites leading to permeabilization of the outer membrane to small proteins followed by apoptotic cell death.