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A09 | Effect of Bcl-2 proteins on mitochondrial structure, dynamics and function

Ana J. García Sáez
CECAD Research Center/Institute for Genetics
University of Cologne

Phone: +49 221 / 478 84263  
E-mail: ana.garciaSpamProtectionuni-koeln.de
For more information and contact please visit the GARCIA LAB.

Running time within the CRC 1218: 07/2020 - 06/2024.


The proteins of the Bcl-2 family are critical regulators of the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis. Besides this function, evidence suggests that the Bcl-2 proteins have additional functions on several mitochondrial processes which, together with the molecular mechanisms involved, remain poorly understood. The main goal of this proposal is to dissect the differential role of the Bcl-2 proteins in mitochondrial organization and function and to uncover the underlying molecular mechanisms.

Project-related publications

Czabotar, P.E., García-Sáez, A.J. (2023). Mechanisms of BCL-2 family proteins in mitochondrial apoptosis. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2023 Jul 12. doi: 10.1038/s41580-023-00629-4.

Flores-Romero, H., Dadsena, S., García-Sáez, A.J. (2023). Mitochondrial pores at the crossroad between cell death and inflammatory signaling. Mol Cell. 2023 Mar 16;83(6):843-856. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2023.02.021.

Flores-Romero, H., García-Sáez, A.J. (2022). MERLIN: A BRET-Based Proximity Biosensor for Studying Mitochondria-ER Contact Sites. Methods Mol Biol. 2022;2525:197-205. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-2473-9_14.

Cosentino, K., Hertlein, V., Jenner, A., Dellmann, T., Gojkovic, M., Peña-Blanco, A., Dadsena, S., Wajngarten, N., Danial, J.S.H., Thevathasan, J.V., Mund, M., Ries, J., Garcia-Saez, A.J. (2022).
The interplay between BAX and BAK tunes apoptotic pore growth to control mitochondrial-DNA-mediated inflammation. Mol Cell. 2022 Mar 3;82(5):933-949.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2022.01.008. Epub 2022 Feb 3.

Flores-Romero, H., Hohorst, L., John, M., Albert, M-C., King, L. E, Beckmann, L., Szabo, T., Hertlein, V., Luo, X., Villunger, A., Frenzel, L. P., Kashkar, H., Garcia-Saez, A. J. (2021). BCL-2-family protein tBID can act as a BAX-like effector of apoptosis. The EMBO Journal (2021)e108690. https://doi.org/10.15252/embj.2021108690

Hertlein, V., Flores-Romero, H., Das, K.K., Fischer, S., Heunemann, M., Calleja-Felipe, M., Knafo, S., Hipp, K., Harter, K., Fitzgerald, J., and García-Sáez, A.J. (2019). MERLIN: a novel BRET-based proximity biosensor for the study of mitochondria-ER contact sites. Life Sci. Alliance, accepted.

Danial, J.S.H., and García-Sáez, A.J. (2019). Quantitative analysis of super-resolved structures using ASAP. Nat. Methods 16, 711-714.

Ugarte-Uribe, B., Prevost, C., Das, K.K., Bassereau, P., and García-Sáez, A.J. (2018). Drp1 polymerization stabilizes curved tubular membranes similar to those of constricted mitochondria. J. Cell Sci. 132(4). DOI: 10.1242/jcs.208603.