[The role of ion channels in apoptosis].

Katedra Termobiologii, Uniwersytet Lódzki, ul. Banacha 12/16, 90-237 Lódź.
Postepy biochemii 02/2006; 52(4):373-82.
Source: PubMed


The plasma membrane as well as the mitochondrial outer and inner membranes contain a number of ion channels that are responsible not only for existence of cells under physiological conditions but they also participate directly in apoptosis. In the apoptotic cells the activated K+, Cl- channels of plasma membrane control the cell volume and mediate the regulation of protease and nuclease activities. The mitochondrial channels are involved in the ionic movements and leakage of apoptogenic factors from the intermembrane space to cytosol. During apoptosis, an important role in the permeabilization of the outer mitochondrial membrane play Bcl-2 family proteins. In this review the recent findings on the function of ion channels in apoptotic cells and the role played by Bcl-2 proteins in the control of apoptosis are discussed.

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