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Nature. 1989 Nov 9;342(6246):195-8.

The bcl-2 gene encodes a novel G protein.

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Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19140.


Little is known about the biochemical or functional nature of the proteins encoded by the bcl-2 gene, which undergoes chromosomal translocation in approximately 85% of follicular lymphoma, 20% of diffuse large cell lymphoma and 10% of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia of B cells. Translocation of bcl-2 sequences from chromosome 18 to the JH segment of the immunoglobulin gene at chromosome band 14q32 in B cells results in deregulated expression of this gene, causing high steady state levels of bcl-2 messenger RNA2. DNA sequence data indicate that bcl-2 encodes two proteins by virtue of alternative splicing, designated as Bcl-2 alpha and Bcl-2 beta, with relative molecular masses of 26,000 and 22,000 respectively. Cell fractionation experiments indicate that the bcl-2 alpha gene product is located at the inner surface of the cell membrane, suggesting a possible role in mitogenic signal transduction. We report here that Bcl-2 alpha has GTP-binding activity and a protein sequence that suggests it belongs to the small molecular weight GTP-binding protein (G protein) family.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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