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Mol Immunol. 2003 Jun;39(16):983-93.

Phosphorylation of the pro-apoptotic protein Bim in lymphocytes is associated with protection from apoptosis.

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Department of Pathology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Jaharis 906, 150 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


Bim is a pro-apoptotic member of the Bcl-2 protein family. Bim has three isoforms, EL, L, and S, of which the EL form is the least cytotoxic. We show here that Bim is serine phosphorylated in lymphocytes, predominantly on the EL form. Withdrawal of IL-2 from IL-2-dependent T lymphocytes or culture of thymocytes leads to reduced Bim phosphorylation and apoptosis induction. This decrease in Bim phosphorylation occurs when most cells in culture are still viable, indicating that reduction of Bim phosphorylation may be an early event in apoptosis signaling of lymphocytes.

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