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.
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The Bcl-2 Family of Proteins