Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
EMBO J. 2004 Mar 10;23(5):1207-16. Epub 2004 Mar 4.

Phosphorylation of BCL-2 regulates ER Ca2+ homeostasis and apoptosis.

Author information

Department of Pathology and Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Phosphorylation of BCL-2 within an unstructured loop inhibits its antiapoptotic effect. We found that phosphorylated BCL-2 predominantly localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and tested whether phosphorylation would control its activity at this organelle, where Ca(2+) dynamics serve as a critical control point for apoptosis. Phosphorylation greatly inhibits the ability of BCL-2 to lower [Ca(2+)](er) and protect against Ca(2+)-dependent death stimuli. Cells expressing nonphosphorylatable BCL-2(AAA) exhibited increased leak of Ca(2+) from the ER and further diminished steady-state [Ca(2+)](er) stores when compared to cells expressing BCL-2(wt). Consequently, when BCL-2 is phosphorylated, Ca(2+) discharge from the ER is increased, with a secondary increase in mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake. We also demonstrate that phosphorylation of BCL-2 inhibits its binding to proapoptotic family members. This inhibitory mechanism manifested at the ER, where phosphorylated BCL-2 was unable to bind proapoptotic members. [Ca(2+)](er) proved coordinate with the capacity of BCL-2 to bind proapoptotic BH3-only members, further integrating the apoptotic pathway and Ca(2+) modulation. Unexpectedly, the regulation of ER Ca(2+) dynamics is a principal avenue whereby BCL-2 phosphorylation alters susceptibility to apoptosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center