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The Bcl-2 gene family and apoptosis.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Pathology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.

Abstract

Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is an essential process for normal embryonic development, maintaining homeostasis in adult tissues, and suppressing carcinogenesis. The bcl-2 protein, discovered in association with follicular lymphoma, plays a prominent role in controlling apoptosis and enhancing cell survival in response to diverse apoptotic stimuli. The evolutionarily conserved bcl-2 protein is now recognized as being a member of a family of related proteins which can be categorized as death agonists or death antagonists. Progress in defining the role of bcl-2 and its family members in regulating apoptosis is rapidly advancing. This review describes, in detail, current bcl-2 family members and the possible mechanisms of function which allow the bcl-2 family of proteins to either promote or suppress cell death.

PMID:
9755641
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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