Apop-1, a novel protein inducing cyclophilin D-dependent but Bax/Bak-related channel-independent apoptosis

Osamu Yasuda, Keisuke Fukuo, Xin Sun, Masahito Nishitani, Takamori Yotsui, Masayoshi Higuchi, Takashi Suzuki, Hiromi Rakugi, Oliver Smithies, Nobuyo Maeda, Toshio Ogihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


In the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis, mitochondria play a crucial role by releasing cytochrome c from the intermembrane space into the cytoplasm. Cytochrome c release through Bax/Bak-dependent channels in mitochondria has been well documented. In contrast, cyclophilin D (CypD), an important component of permeability transition pore-dependent protein release, remains largely undefined, and no apoptogenic proteins that act specifically in a CypD-dependent manner have been reported to date. Here, we describe a novel and evolutionarily conserved protein, apoptogenic protein (Apop). Mouse Apop-1 expression induces apoptotic death by releasing cytochrome c from mitochondria into the cytosolic space followed by activation of caspase-9 and -3. Apop-1-induced apoptosis is not blocked by Bcl-2 or Bcl-xL, inhibitors of Bax/Bak-dependent channels, whereas it is completely blocked by cyclosporin A, an inhibitor of permeability transition pore. Cells lacking CypD were resistant to Apop-induced apoptosis. Moreover, inhibition of Apop expression prevented the cell death induced by apoptosis-inducing substances. Our findings, thus, indicate that the expression of Apop-1 induces apoptosis though CypD-dependent pathway and that Apop-1 plays roles in cell death under physiological conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23899-23907
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 18 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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