Programmed Cell Death Across the Eukaryotic Kingdoms

EU 6th Framework STREP

Research group of Guido Kroemer

Apoptosis & human disease




Fig.: Crosstalk between mitochondria and nucleus during apoptosis  

Kroemer's laboratory works on the molecular definition and inter-relationships of different types of PCD in mammalian systems. The group formulated the hypothesis that a major event in apoptosis, mitochondrial membrane permeabilization (MMP), as well as crosstalk between the primitive endosymbiotic mitochondrion and its host, was instrumental in the invention of apoptosis during evolution. The group currently works on MMP mechanisms and their control by viral proteins and by an ancient mitochondrial death effector, apoptosis inducing factor (AIF), that has homologs in all phyla. The group has also developed pharmacological and genetic systems for controlled induction of phagocytic PCD in mammalian cells in vitro, including cytofluorometric methods for detecting increased macroautophagy in cultured cells.

Relevant References

1) Badley et al. (2003) Mitochondrion-mediated apoptosis in HIV-1 infection.
Trends Pharmacol Sci 24, 298-305
2) Perfettini & Kroemer (2003) Caspase activation is not death.
Nature Immunol 4, 308-10
3) Penninger & Kroemer (2003). Caspases, AIF and mitochondria. Rivaling for cell death execution. Nature Cell Biol. 5 , 97-99
4) Boya et al. (2002) Lysosomal membrane permeabilization induces cell death in a mitochondrion-dependent fashion. J. Exp. Med. 197, 1323-1334
5. Joza et al. (2001). Essential role of the mitochondrial apoptosis inducing factor in programmed cell death. Nature 410, 549-554


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