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      Bcl-2 is an inner mitochondrial membrane protein that blocks programmed cell death.

      Nature

      Animals, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Base Sequence, Blotting, Western, Cell Line, Cell Survival, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 14, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 18, Codon, genetics, Humans, Lymphoma, Membrane Proteins, Mitochondria, metabolism, Molecular Sequence Data, Oncogenes, Open Reading Frames, Proto-Oncogene Proteins, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2, Translocation, Genetic

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          Abstract

          The t(14; 18) chromosomal translocation of human follicular B-cell lymphoma juxtaposes the bcl-2 gene with the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus. The bcl-2 immunoglobulin fusion gene is markedly deregulated resulting in inappropriately elevated levels of bcl-2 RNA and protein. Transgenic mice bearing a bcl-2 immunoglobulin minigene demonstrate a polyclonal expansion of resting yet responsive IgM-IgD B cells which display prolonged cell survival but no increase in cell cycling. Moreover, deregulated bcl-2 extends the survival of certain haematopoietic cell lines following growth-factor deprivation. By using immunolocalization studies we now demonstrate that Bcl-2 is an integral inner mitochondrial membrane protein of relative molecular mass 25,000 (25k). Overexpression of Bcl-2 blocks the apoptotic death of a pro-B-lymphocyte cell line. Thus, Bcl-2 is unique among proto-oncogenes, being localized to mitochondria and interfering with programmed cell death independent of promoting cell division.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          2250705
          10.1038/348334a0

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