The mitochondrial permeability transition is an inner mitochondrial membrane event involving the opening of the permeability transition pore concomitant with a sudden efflux of matrix solutes and breakdown of membrane potential. The mitochondrial FoF1 ATP synthase has been proposed as the molecular identity of the permeability transition pore. The likeliness of potential pore-forming sites in the mitochondrial FoF1 ATP synthase is discussed and a new model, the death finger model, is described. In this model, movement of a p-side density that connects the lipid-plug of the c-ring with the distal membrane bending Fo domain allows reversible opening of the c-ring and structural cross-talk with OSCP and the catalytic (αβ)3 hexamer. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.