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Cell Biol Int. 2007 Aug;31(8):825-30. Epub 2007 Jan 25.

Anti-apoptotic activity of Bcl-2 is enhanced by its interaction with RTN3.

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State Key Laboratory of Virology, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Hubei, Wuhan 430072, PR China.


Bcl-2 is known as a critical inhibitor of apoptosis triggered by a broad range of stimuli, mainly acting on the mitochondria. It can interact with many members of the Bcl-2 family, influence mitochondrial membrane permeability and modulate cell apoptosis. RTN3, a member of the reticulon (RTN) family, was predominantly localized on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Its N- and C-termini, both facing the cytoplasm, can recruit some proteins to the ER to modulate some physiological functions. We found that RTN3, which does not belong to the Bcl-2 family, can interact with Bcl-2 on the ER. In normal HeLa cells, ectopic overexpressed Bcl-2 could reduce the cell apoptosis induced by overexpressed RTN3. When the HeLa cells stably expressing Bcl-2 were treated with tunicamycin, endogenous RTN3 increased in the cell microsomal fraction. This change increased the Bcl-2 in microsomal fractions and also in the mitochondrial fractions where the anti-apoptotic activity of Bcl-2 mainly acts. These results suggest that RTN3 could bind with Bcl-2 and mediate its accumulation in mitochondria, which modulate the anti-apoptotic activity of Bcl-2.

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