BAX-dependent mitochondrial pathway mediates the crosstalk between ferroptosis and apoptosis

Young Sun Lee, Kalishwaralal Kalimuthu, Yong Seok Park, Xu Luo, M. Haroon A. Choudry, David L. Bartlett, Yong J. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Ferroptosis is considered a distinctive form of cell death compared to other types of death such as apoptosis. It is known to result from iron-dependent accumulation of lipid peroxides rather than caspase activation. However, we reported recently that ferroptosis interplays with apoptosis. In this study, we investigated a possible mechanism of this interplay between ferroptosis and apoptosis. Results from our studies reveal that combined treatment of the ferroptotic agent erastin and the apoptotic agent TRAIL effectively disrupted mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) and subsequently promoted caspase activation. The alterations of mitochondrial membrane potential are probably due to an increase in oligomerization of BAX and its accumulation at the mitochondria during treatment with erastin and TRAIL. Interestingly, the combined treatment-promoted apoptosis was effectively inhibited in BAX-deficient HCT116 cells, but not BAK-deficient cells. These results indicate that the BAX-associated mitochondria-dependent pathway plays a pivotal role in erastin-enhanced TRAIL-induced apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-631
Number of pages7
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Apoptosis
  • BAX
  • Crosstalk
  • Ferroptosis
  • Mitochondria-dependent pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Cancer Research


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