Bcl-2 Family Proteins and Antibodies

Bcl-2 is a member of a large gene family encoding proteins that can either inhibit (e.g. Bcl-2, Bcl-xL) or promote (e.g. Bax, Bcl-xS, Bak) apoptosis. Bcl-2 inhibits apoptosis by preventing the release of Apoptosis Inducing factor (AIF) and cytochrome c from mitochondria. If the Bcl-2 level is higher than the Bax level, apoptosis will be prohibited. The ratio of Bcl-2 to Bax in the cell can determine whether or not the cell initiates apoptosis or survives. Some cancer cells, such as melanoma, overexpress Bcl-2 preventing apoptosis and allowing malignant growth to continue.
References:
Korsmeyer, S.J., Cancer Res., 59, 1639s-1700s (1999).
Oltvai, Z.N., et al., Cell, 74, 609-619 (1993).
Ogawa, N., et al., Arthritis Rheum., 39, 1875-1885 (1996).
The Bcl-2 Family of Proteins