Targeted gene disruption studies have established that the c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway is required for stress-induced release of mitochondrial cytochrome c and apoptosis. Here we demonstrate that activated JNK is sufficient to induce rapid cytochrome c release and apoptosis. However, activated JNK fails to cause death in cells deficient of members of the Bax subfamily of proapoptotic Bcl2-related proteins. Furthermore, exposure to stress fails to activate Bax, cause cytochrome c release, and induce death in JNK-deficient cells. These data demonstrate that proapoptotic members of the Bax protein subfamily are essential for JNK-dependent apoptosis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology