Bcl-2 family proteins as ion-channels


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.

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Correspondence to John C Reed.

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Edited by G. Melino

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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

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  • apoptosis
  • membrane
  • colicin

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