Peg3/Pw1 promotes p53-mediated apoptosis by inducing Bax translocation from cytosol to mitochondria

Yibin Deng, Xiangwei Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

175 Scopus citations


Mitochondria is believed to play a central role in p53-mediated apoptosis. However, the signal transduction pathways leading to mitochondria remain unclear. Here, we report that translocation of Bax protein from cytosol to mitochondria is required for p53-induced apoptosis. Cytosolic Bax is unable to induce apoptosis, and blocking Bax translocation inhibits cell death. Expression of Bcl-2 blocks cytochrome c release and apoptosis but has no effect on Bax translocation, suggesting that Bax translocation acts upstream of Bcl-2. We further demonstrate that Peg3/Pw1, a protein up-regulated in p53-mediated cell death process, induces Bax translocation independent of apoptosis. The results suggest that Bax translocation represents an important regulatory step in p53-mediated apoptosis, and Peg3/Pw1 functions as a modulator downstream of p53 to regulate Bax redistribution in the cells, thus favoring the cellular decision toward apoptosis over growth arrest following p53 induction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12050-12055
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number22
StatePublished - Oct 24 2000
Externally publishedYes


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