Seminar led by Prof. Thomas Kaufmann. Institute of Pharmacology, University of Bern, Switzerland, at VHIR (15 November 2012).
Content: We are interested to investigate the molecular mechanisms by which pro- and anti-apoptotic members of the BCL-2 family regulate the intrinsic (mitochondrial) apoptotic pathway. The pathway is initiated by members of the BH3-only protein subgroup, which act as sensors in response to a variety of intracellular stress stimuli. Some BH3-only proteins, including Bid and Bim, can be activated downstream of death receptors (e.g. Fas/CD95, TNF-R1) and thus mediate a crosstalk from the extrinsic to the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. We investigate these processes in mouse liver (and more recently also in mouse granulocytes), as hepatocytes strongly rely on this crosstalk for death receptor-induced apoptosis to be effective. We are further interested in the role of 'X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein' (XIAP) in these same cell death pathways.