Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Hidden powers of the mitochondria


The intermembrane space of mitochondria is home to several potentially lethal proteins, including pro-apoptotic caspases. The observation that caspase-9 moves from mitochondria into the nucleus on the induction of apoptosis provides this caspase with a possible new role.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: The role of mitochondria in apoptosis.


  1. Li, P. et al. Cell 91, 479–489 (1997).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Susin, S. A. et al. J. Exp. Med. 189, 381– 394 (1999).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Susin, S. A. et al. Nature 397, 441–446 (1999).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Krajewski, S. et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 96, 5752– 5757 (1999).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Srinivasula, S. M., Ahmad, M., Fernandes-Alnemri, T. & Alnemri, E. S. Mol. Cell 1, 949–957 ( 1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Kuida, K. et al. Cell 94, 325–337 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Hakem, R. et al. Cell 94, 339–352 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Luo, X., Budihardjo, I., Zou, H., Slaughter, C. & Wang, X. Cell 94, 481– 490 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Li, H., Zhu, H., Xu, C.-J. & Yuan, J. Cell 94, 491–501 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Cecconi, F., Alvarez-Bolado, G., Meyer, B. I., Roth, K. A. & Gruss, P. Cell 94, 727 –737 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Yoshida, H. et al. Cell 94, 739–750 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Soengas, M. S. et al. Science 284, 156–159 (1999).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Saleh, A., Srinivasula, S. M., Acharya, S., Fishel, R. & Alnemri, E. J. Biol. Chem.he press).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Emad S. Alnemri.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Alnemri, E. Hidden powers of the mitochondria. Nat Cell Biol 1, E40–E42 (1999).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing