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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 May 9;92(10):4507-11.

Inactivation of Bcl-2 by phosphorylation.

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  • 1Jefferson Cancer Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


The antiapoptosis potential of Bcl-2 protein is well established, but the mechanism of Bcl-2 action is still poorly understood. Using the phosphatase inhibitor okadaic acid or the chemotherapeutic drug taxol, we found that Bcl-2 was phosphorylated in lymphoid cells. Phospho amino acid analysis revealed that Bcl-2 was phosphorylated on serine. Under similar conditions, okadaic acid or taxol treatment led to the induction of apoptosis in these cells. Thus, phosphorylation of Bcl-2 seems to inhibit its ability to interfere with apoptosis. In addition, phosphorylated Bcl-2 can no longer prevent lipid peroxidation as required to protect cells from apoptosis.

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