Role of mitochondrial ion channels in cell death

Shin Young Ryu, Pablo M. Peixoto, Oscar Teijido, Laurent M. Dejean, Kathleen W. Kinnally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ion channels located in the outer and inner mitochondrial membranes are key regulators of cellular signaling for life and death. Permeabilization of mitochondrial membranes is one of the most critical steps in the progression of several cell death pathways. The mitochondrial apoptosis-induced channel (MAC) and the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) play major roles in these processes. Here, the most recent progress and current perspectives about the roles of MAC and mPTP in mitochondrial membrane permeabilization during cell death are presented. The crosstalk signaling of MAC and mPTP formation/activation mediated by cytosolic Ca2+ signaling, Bcl-2 family proteins, and other mitochondrial ion channels is also discussed. Understanding the mechanisms that regulate opening and closing of MAC and mPTP has revealed new therapeutic targets that potentially could control cell death in pathologies such as cancer, ischemia/reperfusion injuries, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-263
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Apoptosis
  • Bcl-2 family proteins
  • Ca signaling
  • Cytochrome c
  • MAC
  • MPTP
  • Mitochondrial ion channels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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