, Volume 205, Issue 1–4, pp 10–20 | Cite as

Apoptosis and redox homostasis: On a possible mechanism of action of Bcl-2

  • A. Lawen
  • M. A. Baker
  • S. Malik


We discuss the involvement of several mammalian redox systems in the regulation of apoptosis. We focus especially on the role that mitochondria and the still ill-characterized plasma membrane NADH-oxidoreductase system play in apoptosis. The latter system was shown to respond to downregulation of mitochondrial function; inhibition of either system induces apoptosis. Apoptosis induced by inhibitors of the oxidase involves both Bcl-2 and calcineurin, two proteins recently shown to be capable of forming a tight complex. We suggest that Bcl-2 acts as an antioxidant, but in an electron sense rather than in an oxygen sense.


Proto-oncogene product Bcl-2 Calcium Mitochondria Plasma membrane NADH oxidoreductase Transcription factor NF-κB 





glutathione disulfide




plasma membrane NADH-oxidoreductase


tumour necrosis factor


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Lawen
    • 1
  • M. A. Baker
    • 1
  • S. Malik
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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