Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Oncogene. 2008 Dec;27 Suppl 1:S2-19. doi: 10.1038/onc.2009.39.

BH3-only proteins in apoptosis and beyond: an overview.

Author information

1
Institute for Molecular Virology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Doisy Research Center, St Louis, MO 63104, USA.

Abstract

BH3-only BCL-2 family proteins are effectors of canonical mitochondrial apoptosis. They discharge their pro-apoptotic functions through BH1-3 pro-apoptotic proteins such as BAX and BAK, while their activity is suppressed by BH1-4 anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family members. The precise mechanism by which BH3-only proteins mediate apoptosis remains unresolved. The existing data are consistent with three mutually non-exclusive models (1) displacement of BH1-3 proteins from complexes with BH1-4 proteins; (2) direct interaction with and conformational activation of BH1-3 proteins; and (3) membrane insertion and membrane remodeling. The BH3-only proteins appear to play critical roles in restraining cancer and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Molecules that mimic the effect of BH3-only proteins are being used in treatments against these diseases. The cell death activity of a subclass of BH3-only members (BNIP3 and BNIP3L) is linked to cardiomyocyte loss during heart failure. In addition to their established role in apoptosis, several BH3-only members also regulate diverse cellular functions in cell-cycle regulation, DNA repair and metabolism. Several members are implicated in the induction of autophagy and autophagic cell death, possibly through unleashing of the BH3-only autophagic effector Beclin 1 from complexes with BCL-2/BCL-xL. The Chapters included in the current Oncogene Review issues provide in-depth discussions on various aspects of major BH3-only proteins.

PMID:
19641503
PMCID:
PMC2928556
DOI:
10.1038/onc.2009.39
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms

Substances

Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center