Altered mitochondria morphology and cell metabolism in Apaf1-deficient cells

Mónica Sancho, Anna Gortat, Andrés E. Herrera, Vicente Andreu-Fernández, Elisabetta Ferraro, Francesco Cecconi, Mar Orzáez, Enrique Pérez-Payá

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Apaf1 (apoptotic protease activating factor 1) is the central component of the apoptosome, a multiprotein complex that activates procaspase-9 after cytochrome c release from the mitochondria in the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis. Other cellular roles, including a pro-survival role, have also been described for Apaf1, while the relative contribution of each function to cell death, but also to cell homeostatic conditions, remain to be clarified. Methodology and Principal Findings: Here we examined the response to apoptosis induction of available embryonic fibroblasts from Apaf1 knockout mice (MEFS KO Apaf1). In the absence of Apaf1, cells showed mitochondria with an altered morphology that affects cytochrome c release and basal metabolic status. Conclusions: We analysed mitochondrial features and cell death response to etoposide and ABT-737 in two different Apaf1- deficient MEFS, which differ in the immortalisation protocol. Unexpectedly, MEFS KO Apaf1 immortalised with the SV40 antigen (SV40IM-MEFS Apaf1) and those which spontaneously immortalised (SIM-MEFS Apaf1) respond differently to apoptotic stimuli, but both presented relevant differences at the mitochondria when compared to MEFS WT, indicating a role for Apaf1 at the mitochondria.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere84666
JournalPLoS One
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 9 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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