Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Cell. 2001 Nov;1(5):645-53.

Degenerative disorders caused by Bcl-2 deficiency prevented by loss of its BH3-only antagonist Bim.

Author information

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, P.O. Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria 3050, Melbourne, Australia.


Apoptosis is triggered when proapoptotic members of the Bcl-2 protein family bearing only the BH3 association domain bind to Bcl-2 or its homologs and block their antiapoptotic activity. To test whether loss of the BH3-only protein Bim could prevent the cellular attrition caused by Bcl-2 deficiency, we generated mice lacking both genes. Mice without Bcl-2 have a fragile lymphoid system, become runted, turn gray, and succumb to polycystic kidney disease. Concomitant absence of Bim prevented all these disorders. Indeed, loss of even one bim allele restored normal kidney development, growth, and health. These results demonstrate that Bim levels set the threshold for initiation of apoptosis in several tissues and suggest that degenerative diseases might be alleviated by blocking BH3-only proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center