The voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC): function in intracellular signalling, cell life and cell death.
ABSTRACT Research over the last decade has extended the prevailing view of mitochondria to include functions well beyond the critical bioenergetics role in supplying ATP. It is now recognized that mitochondria play a crucial role in cell signaling events, inter-organelle communication, aging, many diseases, cell proliferation and cell death. Apoptotic signal transmission to the mitochondria results in the efflux of a number of potential apoptotic regulators to the cytosol that trigger caspase activation and lead to cell destruction. Accumulating evidence indicates that the voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) is involved in this release of proteins via the outer mitochondrial membrane. VDAC in the outer mitochondrial membrane is in a crucial position in the cell, forming the main interface between the mitochondrial and the cellular metabolisms. VDAC has been recognized as a key protein in mitochondria-mediated apoptosis since it is the proposed target for the pro- and anti-apoptotic Bcl2-family of proteins and due to its function in the release of apoptotic proteins located in the inter-membranal space. The diameter of the VDAC pore is only about 2.6-3 nm, which is insufficient for passage of a folded protein like cytochrome c. New work suggests pore formation by homo-oligomers of VDAC or hetero-oligomers composed of VDAC and pro-apoptotic proteins such as Bax or Bak. This review provides insights into the central role of VDAC in cell life and death and emphasizes its function in the regulation of mitochondria-mediated apoptosis and, thereby, its potential as a rational target for new therapeutics.
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ABSTRACT: Voltage-dependent anion channels (VDACs) have originally been characterized as mitochondrial porins. Starting in the late 1980s, however, evidence began to accumulate that VDACs can also be expressed in plasma membranes. In this review, we briefly revisit the historical milestones in the discovery of plasma membrane-bound VDAC, and we critically analyze the evidence for VDAC plasma membrane localization obtained from various purification strategies and recently from plasma membrane proteomics studies. We discuss the possible biological function and relevance of VDAC in the plasma membrane and finally discuss a hypothetical model of how VDAC may be targeted to the plasma membrane.FEBS letters 02/2010; 584(9):1793-9. · 3.54 Impact Factor
Article: Swapping of the N-terminus of VDAC1 with VDAC3 restores full activity of the channel and confers anti-aging features to the cell.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Voltage-dependent anion-selective channels (VDACs) are pore-forming proteins allowing the permeability of the mitochondrial outer membrane. The VDAC3 isoform is the least abundant and least active in a complementation assay performed in a yeast strain devoid of porin-1. We swapped the VDAC3 N-terminal 20 amino acids with homologous sequences from the other isoforms. The substitution of the VDAC3 N-terminus with the VDAC1 N-terminus caused the chimaera to become more active than VDAC1. The VDAC2 N-terminus improved VDAC3 activity, though to a lesser extent. The VDAC3 carrying the VDAC1 N-terminus was able to complement the lack of the yeast porin in mitochondrial respiration and in modulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). This chimaera increased life span, indicating a more efficient bioenergetic metabolism and/or a better protection from ROS.FEBS letters 07/2010; 584(13):2837-44. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC), located in the outer mitochondrial membrane, acts as a gatekeeper for the entry and exit of mitochondrial metabolites. Here we reveal functional dynamics of isoform one of VDAC (VDAC1) by a combination of solution NMR spectroscopy, Gaussian network model analysis, and molecular dynamics simulation. Micro- to millisecond dynamics are significantly increased for the N-terminal six β-strands of VDAC1 in micellar solution, in agreement with increased B-factors observed in the same region in the bicellar crystal structure of VDAC1. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal that a charge on the membrane-facing glutamic acid 73 (E73) accounts for the elevation of N-terminal protein dynamics as well as a thinning of the nearby membrane. Mutation or chemical modification of E73 strongly reduces the micro- to millisecond dynamics in solution. Because E73 is necessary for hexokinase-I-induced VDAC channel closure and inhibition of apoptosis, our results imply that micro- to millisecond dynamics in the N-terminal part of the barrel are essential for VDAC interaction and gating.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2010; 107(52):22546-51. · 9.68 Impact Factor