Structural perspectives on BCL-2 family of proteins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


BCL-2 proteins are a family of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins that regulate a critical step in the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway, the permeabilization of the mitochondrial outer membrane. Because apoptosis and mitochondrial function play an important role in physiology and a number of diseases, intensive investigation over the past two decades has been invested to understand in detail the structure and function of the BCL-2 proteins. Structural biology investigations of BCL-2 proteins have provided tremendous insights into our understanding of their structure-function relationships and models have been proposed to explain how the BCL-2 family members form a network of interactions to control apoptosis signaling. Here, we will review the available structural information of pro- and anti-apoptotic members and the structures of their interaction in homodimerization and heterodimerization. We will discuss the structural insights for each structural domain of BCL-2 proteins that determine their function in the cytosol and the outer mitochondrial membrane. Furthermore, we will discuss the structural details of the interactions between BCL-2 family members and the various structural paradigms that ultimately regulate the activation of apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCell Death
Subtitle of host publicationMechanism and Disease
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781461493020
ISBN (Print)1461493013, 9781461493013
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Apoptosis
  • BAX
  • BCL-2
  • BH3 domain
  • BH3-only
  • Cytochrome c
  • MOMP
  • Mitochondria
  • Structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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