Mitochondrial ceramide-rich macrodomains functionalize bax upon irradiation
bcl-2-Associated X Protein
Our recent studies in the C. elegans germline indicate that mitochondrial ceramide generation is obligate for radiation-induced apoptosis, although a mechanism for ceramide action was not delineated. Here we demonstrate that ceramide, generated in the mitochondrial outer membrane of mammalian cells upon irradiation, forms a platform into which Bax inserts, oligomerizes and functionalizes as a pore. We posit conceptualization of ceramide as a membrane-based stress calibrator, driving membrane macrodomain organization, which in mitochondria regulates intensity of Bax-induced MOMP, and is pharmacologically tractable in vitro and in vivo.