Utilizing mitochondrial events as biomarkers for imaging apoptosis

N. Yivgi-Ohana, M. Eifer, Y. Addadi, M. Neeman, A. Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cells undergoing apoptosis show a plethora of time-dependent changes. The available tools for imaging apoptosis in live cells rely either on the detection of the activity of caspases, or on the visualization of exposure of phosphatidyl serine in the outer leaflet of the cell membrane. We report here a novel method for the detection of mitochondrial events during apoptosis, namely translocation of Bax to mitochondria and release of cytochrome c (Cyt c) using bimolecular fluorescence complementation. Expression of split yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) fragments fused to Bax and Cyt c, resulted in robust induction of YFP fluorescence at the mitochondria of apoptotic cells with very low background. In vivo expression of split YFP protein fragments in liver hepatocytes and intra-vital imaging of subcutaneous tumor showed elevated YFP fluorescence upon apoptosis induction. Thus, YFP complementation could be applied for high-throughput screening and in vivo molecular imaging of mitochondrial events during apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere166
JournalCell Death & Disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cancer Research
  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology


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