Bcl-2 family proteins as ion-channels

Abstract

The Bcl-2 protein family function(s) as important regulators of cellular decisions to heed or ignore death signals. The three-dimensional structure of the Bcl-2 homolog, Bcl-XL, bears a strong resemblance to some pore-forming bacterial toxins. This similarity suggested that the Bcl-2 family proteins may also possess channel-forming capability. This review summarizes the recent initial studies on the in vitro channel activity of Bcl-2, Bcl-XL and Bax and offers some speculation as to the physiological role that these channels may play in the cell death pathway.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to John C Reed.

Additional information

Edited by G. Melino

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Schendel, S., Montal, M. & Reed, J. Bcl-2 family proteins as ion-channels. Cell Death Differ 5, 372–380 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.cdd.4400365

Download citation

Keywords

  • apoptosis
  • membrane
  • colicin

Further reading

Search

Quick links