Adenine nucleotide translocase-1, a component of the permeability transition pore, can dominantly induce apoptosis


  • M.K.A. Bauer
  • A. Schubert
  • O. Rocks
  • S. Grimm


  • Journal of Cell Biology


  • J Cell Biol 147 (7): 1493-1502


  • Here, we describe the isolation of adenine nucleotide translocase-1 (ANT-1) in a screen for dominant, apoptosis-inducing genes. ANT-1 is a component of the mitochondrial permeability transition complex, a protein aggregate connecting the inner with the outer mitochondrial membrane that has recently been implicated in apoptosis. ANT-1 expression led to all features of apoptosis, such as phenotypic alterations, collapse of the mitochondrial membrane potential, cytochrome c release, caspase activation, and DNA degradation. Both point mutations that impair ANT-1 in its known activity to transport ADP and ATP as well as the NH(2)-terminal half of the protein could still induce apoptosis. Interestingly, ANT-2, a highly homologous protein could not lead to cell death, demonstrating the specificity of the signal for apoptosis induction. In contrast to Bax, a proapoptotic Bcl-2 gene, ANT-1 was unable to elicit a form of cell death in yeast. This and the observed repression of apoptosis by the ANT-1-interacting protein cyclophilin D suggest that the suicidal effect of ANT-1 is mediated by specific protein-protein interactions within the permeability transition pore.