The N-terminal helix of Bcl-xL targets mitochondria

Melanie A. McNally, Lucian Soane, Brian A. Roelofs, Adam L. Hartman, J. Marie Hardwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Anti- and pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members regulate the mitochondrial phase of apoptotic cell death. The mitochondrial targeting mechanisms of Bcl-2 family proteins are tightly regulated. Known outer mitochondrial membrane targeting sequences include the C-terminal tail and central helical hairpin. Bcl-xL also localizes to the inner mitochondrial membrane, but these targeting sequences are unknown. Here we investigate the possibility that the N-terminus of Bcl-xL also contains mitochondrial targeting information. Amino acid residues 1-28 of Bcl-xL fused to EGFP are sufficient to target mitochondria. Although positive charges and helical propensity are required for targeting, similar to import sequences the N-terminus is not sufficient for efficient mitochondrial import.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Apoptosis
  • BH4
  • Bcl-2
  • Bcl-x
  • Localization
  • Mitochondrial inner membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'The N-terminal helix of Bcl-xL targets mitochondria'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this