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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1999 Jan 27;254(3):779-85.

Identification and characterization of baxepsilon, a novel bax variant missing the BH2 and the transmembrane domains.

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  • 1OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 106 Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, Uniondale, New York, 11553, USA.


The Bax gene is a member of the Bcl2 family that functions to regulate the programmed cell death process. A number of Bax isoforms have been previously identified: alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and omega. Here we report the identification and characterization of an additional Bax variant, termed Baxepsilon. The newly identified Bax variant contains a 97-base insertion generated by alternative splicing which includes a previously unidentified exon between exons 4 and 5. The insertion causes the production of a truncated Bax protein, termed Baxepsilon, which encodes a protein of 164 residues with a calculated molecular weight of 18 kDa. The last 69 amino acids of Baxalpha that encompass the BH2 and the TM domains are missing in Baxepsilon. The Baxepsilon protein, when expressed as a GST fusion protein, associated efficiently with Baxalpha, Baxepsilon, Bcl2, and Bcl-xL. In addition, Baxepsilon was active in inducing apoptosis when tested in a transient transfection assay. Furthermore, the presence of antiapoptotic genes including Bcl2, Bcl-xL, and baculovirus p35 abrogated Baxepsilon and Baxalpha function. Although the newly identified Bax variant was detectable by RT-PCR in several normal mouse tissues, the role of this variant in controlling programmed cell death is currently unknown.

Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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