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Inhibition of Bax channel-forming activity by Bcl-2.

Antonsson B., Conti F., Ciavatta A., Montessuit S., Lewis S., Martinou I., Bernasconi L., Bernard A., Mermod J.J., Mazzei G., Maundrell K., Gambale F., Sadoul R., Martinou J.C.

Proteins of the Bcl-2 family are intracellular membrane-associated proteins that regulate programmed cell death (apoptosis) either positively or negatively by as yet unknown mechanisms. Bax, a pro-apoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family, was shown to form channels in lipid membranes. Bax triggered the release of liposome-encapsulated carboxyfluorescein at both neutral and acidic pH. At physiological pH, release could be blocked by Bcl-2. Bcl-2, in contrast, triggered carboxyfluorescein release at acidic pH only. In planar lipid bilayers, Bax formed pH- and voltage-dependent ion-conducting channels. Thus, the pro-apoptotic effects of Bax may be elicited through an intrinsic pore-forming activity that can be antagonized by Bcl-2.

Science 277:370-372(1997) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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