Mitochondria play a central role in apoptosis triggered by many stimuli. They integrate death signals through Bcl-2 family members and co-ordinate caspase activation through the release of apoptogenic factors that are normally sequestered in the mitochondrial intermembrane space. The release of these proteins is the result of the outer mitochondrial membrane becoming permeable. In addition, mitochondria can initiate apoptosis through the production of reactive oxygen species.
- © 2003 The Biochemical Society