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the apoptotic response

Mitochondrial impairment renders the cells more sensitive to apoptosis.

Another research topic is linked to the apoptotic response of cells with impaired mitochondrial activity. We have shown that mitochondrial dysfunction is accompanied by a hypersensitivity of cells to staurosporine, an apoptosis-inducing agent. In rho0 cells, this hypersensitivity is partly due to a lower abundance of several anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members (Rommelaere et al, Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2011). In addition, beside the activation of caspases, the activation of other proteases specifically sensitizes the cells suffering from a mitochondrial dysfunction: these proteases are the cathepsin B in the rho° cells (Rommelaere et al, Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2011) and the calcium-dependent calpains in the mutated MERRF cybrid cells (Rommelaere et al, Int J Biochem Cell Biol 2012).