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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2014 Jan;15(1):49-63. doi: 10.1038/nrm3722.

Control of apoptosis by the BCL-2 protein family: implications for physiology and therapy.

Author information

1
1] The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and Department of Medical Biology, University of Melbourne, 1G Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia. [2].
2
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and Department of Medical Biology, University of Melbourne, 1G Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia.

Abstract

The BCL-2 protein family determines the commitment of cells to apoptosis, an ancient cell suicide programme that is essential for development, tissue homeostasis and immunity. Too little apoptosis can promote cancer and autoimmune diseases; too much apoptosis can augment ischaemic conditions and drive neurodegeneration. We discuss the biochemical, structural and genetic studies that have clarified how the interplay between members of the BCL-2 family on mitochondria sets the apoptotic threshold. These mechanistic insights into the functions of the BCL-2 family are illuminating the physiological control of apoptosis, the pathological consequences of its dysregulation and the promising search for novel cancer therapies that target the BCL-2 family.

PMID:
24355989
DOI:
10.1038/nrm3722
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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