Professor Dr Ana J. García Sáez - University of Tübingen

Professor Dr Ana J. García Sáez - University of Tübingen

Davis Auditorium
Start Time: 
Fri, 22/03/2019 - 11:00am
End Time: 
Fri, 22/03/2019 - 12:00pm

​Mechanism of mitochondrial permeabilization at the single molecule level

Special seminar hosted by Associate Professor Peter Czabotar

The point of no return in the cell's commitment to apoptotic death is the permeabilization of the outer mitochondrial membrane, which is mediated by the Bcl-2 family proteins Bax and Bak. Despite intense research, the molecular mechanisms involved still remain puzzling. Using a combination of biophysical approaches at different length scales, we have proposed a new model for how Bax and Bak mediate apoptosis by assembling into arcs and rings of different sizes that perforate the membrane without the need to cover the whole pore edge. We also show that Bax and Bak, long thought to have completely overlapping functions, follow different mechanisms of assembly in dying cells.

Ana, who is of Spanish origin, has held a professorship at the Interfaculty Institute of Biochemistry at the University of Tübingen since 2013.