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Dr. Muhammad Baqir MR Fakhrildin
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Farha Fatma* and H. P. Sharma


Bcl-2, the founding member of the Bcl-2 family, derives its name from B-cell lymphoma 2. These proteins are localized to mitochondria, smooth endoplasmic reticulum and perinuclear membranes in hematopoietic cells. BCL-2 family proteins are the regulators of apoptosis (programmed cell death) which is required for the removal of infected, damaged or unwanted cells and its disrupted regulation is resulted in cancer, autoimmunity and degenerative disorders. Multiple members of the human Bcl-2 family of apoptosis-regulating proteins have been identified that consists of members that either promote or inhibit apoptosis. BCL-2 proteins have critical roles in normal cell physiology related to neuronal activity, autophagy, calcium handling, mitochondrial dynamics and energetics, and other processes of normal healthy cells. Study in mammals revealed that there is an intrinsic apoptotic pathway that involves the mitochondria and an extrinsic apoptotic pathway that involves death receptors. The mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis in mammals is regulated by members of the Bcl-2 family of proteins. The Bcl-2 family of proteins are key regulators of many, but not all, signals leading to caspase activation. Experimental therapies targeting Bcl-2- family mRNAs or proteins are currently in clinical testing, raising hopes that a new class of anticancer drugs may soon be available.

Keywords: Bcl-2, apoptotic, pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic proteins, cancer.

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