BCL-2 GENE FAMILY IN THE NERVOUS SYSTEM

Annual Review of Neuroscience

Vol. 20:245-267 (Volume publication date March 1997)
https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.neuro.20.1.245

Abstract

AbstractA growing family of genes that share homology with the bcl-2 proto-oncogene is involved in the regulation of cell death. Many of these proteins show widespread expression and are expressed in the nervous system in developing and adult organisms. A physiologic role for Bcl-2 and Bcl-x in neuron survival has been shown. In addition, these proteins have been shown to protect neurons from a wide array of toxic insults. In this review, we discuss the Bcl-2 family of proteins with regard to their structure and interactions. We then discuss the role of apoptotic cell death in the development of the nervous system and as a response to neuronal injury. Lastly, we discuss the evidence for a role for these cell death regulators in neuronal death decisions.

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