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Biochem Soc Trans. 1996 Nov;24(4):1059-65.

Cell death signal transduction and Bcl-2 function.

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University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Molecular Pathology, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The mechanism by which Bcl-2 can insulate cells against multiple diverse apoptotic signals is largely undefined. How is it possible that Bcl-2, which possesses no known catalytic function, can protect against multiple cell-death signals? A proposal to address this question postulates that Bcl-2 functions at convergence points common to most cell-death signal-transduction pathways. This review attempts to integrate observations regarding cell-death signalling in an effort to define points of convergence. The ceramide/ SAPK/JNK and NF kappa B pathways, in particular, were emphasized. Potential points at which Bcl-2 may function frequently involve the transmembrane trafficking of molecules implicated in the mediation of apoptosis. The selectivity of this process and the effector proteins with which Bcl-2 associated remain to be elucidated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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