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AIF Pathway

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Multicellular organisms eliminate supernumerary, damaged or harmful cells by programmed cell death. This process of cell suicide, defined morphologically as apoptosis, is critical for developmental morphogenesis, tissue homeostasis and defence against pathogens (Ref.1). The activation of apoptotic cascades triggers a series of events, one of which is the condensation and fragmentation of chromosomal DNA. In mammals, at least three proteins have been implicated in this process: DFF40 (DNA Fragmentation Factor, 40-KD) /CAD (Caspase-Activated DNase); a mitochondrial endonuclease termed EndoG (Endonuclease-G); and the AIF (Apoptosis-Inducing Factor). AIF is a conserved mitochondrial protein that is released into the cytoplasm and nucleus during mitochondrial membrane permeabilization, inducing chromatin condensation and DNA fragmentation (Ref.2). AIF falls in the category of flavoproteins. It displays NAD(P)H [...]


1.Mitochondria, AIF and caspases--rivaling for cell death execution.
Penninger JM, Kroemer G.
Nat Cell Biol. 2003 Feb;5(2):97-9. No abstract available.
2.Mitochondrial release of apoptosis-inducing factor occurs downstream of cytochrome c release in response to several proapoptotic stimuli.
Arnoult D, Parone P, Martinou JC, Antonsson B, Estaquier J, Ameisen JC.
J Cell Biol. 2002 Dec 23;159(6):923-9. Epub 2002 Dec 16.
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