6 some members of the bcl 2 family antiapoptotic

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Unformatted text preview: family (antiapoptotic family members)—like Bcl-2 itself— function as inhibitors of apoptosis and programmed cell death. Other members of the Bcl-2 family, however, are proapoptotic proteins that act to induce caspase activation and promote cell death. There are two groups of these proapoptotic proteins, which differ in function as well as in their extent of homology to Bcl-2. Bcl-2 and the other antiapoptotic family members share four conserved regions called Bcl-2 homology (BH) domains. One group of proapoptotic family members called the “multidomain” proapoptotic proteins have 3 BH domains (BH1, BH2, and BH3), whereas the second group, the “BH3-only” proteins, have only the BH3 domain. The fate of the cell—life or death—is determined by the balance of activity of proapoptotic and antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family members, which act to regulate one another (Figure 17.7). The multidomain proapoptotic family members, such as Bax and Bak, are the downstream effectors that directly induce apoptosis. They...
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