apoptosomes in action

agency: Digizyme — concept & art direction
client: Cell Signaling Technologies
use: brochure cover, 9 x 12 in

The assembly of the radially-symmetrical apoptosome complex is one of the major steps in the cascade leading to programmed cell death, or apoptosis. In this image, cytochrome C (blue) has been released from mitochondria and binds to Apaf-1 (brown), allowing Apaf-1 to assemble into the seven-member ring structures shown. (Structure based on cryo-EM data published by Yu et al, Structure, Vol. 13, 1725–1735, 2005.)

The Apaf-1 ring then recruits and activates caspase-9, possibly forming a second ring of seven as shown (red doughnut-like structure, based on PDB 1JXQ). Caspase-9 in turn activates caspase-3 (shown here with glowing active sites, based on PDB 2J31). Caspase-3 goes on to chew up many other protiens, including the actin cytoskeleton (shown in green, based on PDB hol_41_374).

Proteins were modeled in Cinema4D and modo, rendered in modo; compositing and particle effects were added in AfterEffects.