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The proapoptotic protein BNIP3 interacts with VDAC to induce mitochondrial release of endonuclease G.

Zhang X., Bian X., Kong J.

BNIP3 is a proapoptotic protein that induces cell death through a mitochondria-mediated pathway. We reported previously that mitochondrial localization of BNIP3 and translocation of EndoG from mitochondria to the nucleus are critical steps of the BNIP3 pathway. It is not clear, however, that how BNIP3 interacts with mitochondria. Here we show that expression of BNIP3 resulted in mitochondrial release and nuclear translocation of EndoG. Incubation of a recombinant GST-BNIP3 protein with freshly isolated mitochondria led to the integration of BNIP3 into mitochondria, reduction in the levels of EndoG in mitochondria and the presence of EndoG in the supernatant that was able to cleave chromatin DNA. Co-immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry analysis reveals that BNIP3 interacted with the voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) to increase opening probabilities of mitochondrial permeability transition (PT) pores and induce mitochondrial release of EndoG. Blocking VDAC with a VDAC antibody largely abolished mitochondrial localization of BNIP3 and prevented EndoG release. Together, the data identify VDAC as an interacting partner of BNIP3 and support endonuclease G as a mediator of the BNIP3 pathway.

PLoS ONE 9:e113642-e113642(2014) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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