Perspectives on the mitochondrial permeability transition

Paolo Bernardi, Emy Basso, Raffaele Colonna, Paola Costantini, Fabio Di Lisa, Ove Eriksson, Eric Fontaine, Michael Forte, François Ichas, Stefano Massari, Annamaria Nicolli, Valeria Petronilli, Luca Scorrano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The permeability transition, a sudden permeability increase of the inner mitochondrial membrane that is greatly favored by Ca2+ accumulation, has puzzled mitochondrial scientists for more than 40 years. It is now recognized that this phenomenon is mediated by opening a high conductance channel (the mitochondrial permeability transition pore) whose open-closed transitions are highly regulated. Through the pore mitochondria may participate in intracellular signalling, and release proteins involved in amplification of the cell death cascade triggered by a variety of physiological and pathological stimuli. Yet, the basic questions of the molecular nature of the permeability transition pore, its physiological role and its very occurrence in vivo remain a matter of intense debate. This short review is meant to summarize our current views on the mitochondrial permeability transition, its perspectives, and our strategies to resolve at least some of the outstanding issues about its nature and function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-206
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 10 1998


  • Cell death
  • Channel
  • Cyclosporin A
  • Membrane permeability
  • Mitochondrion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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