University of Oulu

Hendgen-Cotta, U.B.; Esfeld, S.; Rudi, K.; Miinalainen, I.; Klare, J.P.; Rassaf, T. Cytosolic BNIP3 Dimer Interacts with Mitochondrial BAX Forming Heterodimers in the Mitochondrial Outer Membrane under Basal Conditions. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 687

Cytosolic BNIP3 dimer interacts with mitochondrial BAX forming heterodimers in the mitochondrial outer membrane under basal conditions

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Author: Hendgen-Cotta, Ulrike B.1; Esfeld, Sonja1; Rudi, Katharina2;
Organizations: 1Department of Cardiology and Vascular Medicine, West German Heart and Vascular Center, Medical Faculty, University Hospital Essen
2Department of Physics, University of Osnabrück
3Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2017
Publish Date: 2017-08-22


The primary function of mitochondria is energy production, a task of particular importance especially for cells with a high energy demand like cardiomyocytes. The B-cell lymphoma (BCL-2) family member BCL-2 adenovirus E1B 19 kDa-interacting protein 3 (BNIP3) is linked to mitochondrial targeting after homodimerization, where it functions in inner membrane depolarization and permeabilization of the mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM) mediating cell death. We investigated the basal distribution of cardiac BNIP3 in vivo and its physical interaction with the pro-death protein BCL2 associated X, apoptosis regulator (BAX) and with mitochondria using immunoblot analysis, co-immunoprecipitation, and continuous wave and pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy techniques. We found that BNIP3 is present as a dimer in the cytosol and in the outer membrane of cardiac mitochondria under basal conditions. It forms disulfide-bridged, but mainly non-covalent dimers in the cytosol. Heterodimers with BAX are formed exclusively in the MOM. Furthermore, our results suggest that BNIP3 interacts with the MOM directly via mitochondrial BAX. However, the physical interactions with BAX and the MOM did not affect the membrane potential and cell viability. These findings suggest that another stimulus other than the mere existence of the BNIP3/BAX dimer in the MOM is required to promote BNIP3 cell-death activity; this could be a potential disturbance of the BNIP3 distribution homeostasis, namely in the direction of the mitochondria.

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Series: International journal of molecular sciences
ISSN: 1661-6596
ISSN-E: 1422-0067
ISSN-L: 1661-6596
Volume: 18
Issue: 4
Article number: 687
DOI: 10.3390/ijms18040687
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
Copyright information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0)