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Fatal liaisons of p53 with Bax and Bak

p53 can induce apoptosis through its well defined role as a regulator of transcription, but also by a less well defined transcription-independent mechanism. Two recent studies demonstrate that p53 mediates mitochondrial permeabilization through direct physical interactions with the pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members, Bax and Bak.

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Figure 1: Interaction domains of p53 and Bcl-2 family proteins.
Figure 2: Pro-apoptotic p53–Bcl-2 family interactions at mitochondrial membranes.


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Perfettini, JL., Kroemer, R. & Kroemer, G. Fatal liaisons of p53 with Bax and Bak. Nat Cell Biol 6, 386–388 (2004).

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