Blc2 family (IPR026298)

Short name: Blc2_fam

Overlapping homologous superfamilies

Family relationships


B cell CLL/lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) and related proteins comprise the Bcl-2 family. Bcl-2 proteins are central regulators of caspase activation, and play a key role in cell death by regulating the integrity of the mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes [PMID: 12631689]. Though originally characterised with respect to their roles in controlling outer mitochondrial membrane integrity and apoptosis, the members of the Bcl-2 family are involved in numerous cellular pathways [PMID: 20159550].

Bcl-2 and its relatives are functionally classified as either antiapoptotic or proapoptotic. All members contain at least one of four conserved motifs, termed Bcl-2 Homology (BH) domains. Antiapoptotic BCL-2 proteins contain four Bcl-2 homology domains (BH1-4). The major antiapoptotic proteins are Bcl-2-related gene A1 (A1), Bcl-2, Bcl-2-related gene, long isoform (Bcl-xL), Bcl-w, and myeloid cell leukemia 1 (MCL-1). They preserve outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) integrity by directly inhibiting the proapoptotic Bcl-2 proteins [PMID: 20159550].

The proapoptotic Bcl-2 members are divided into the effector proteins and the BH3-only proteins. The effector proteins Bcl-2 antagonist killer 1 (BAK) and Bcl-2-associated x protein (BAX) were originally described to contain only BH1-3; however, structure-based alignments revealed a conserved BH4 motif [PMID: 18551131]. Upon activation BAK and BAX homo-oligomerise into proteolipid pores within the OMM to promote MOMP (mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilisation). The BH3-only proteins function in distinct cellular stress scenarios and are subdivided based on their ability to interact with the antiapoptotic or both the antiapoptotic and the effector proteins [PMID: 20159550].

GO terms

Biological Process

GO:0042981 regulation of apoptotic process

Molecular Function

No terms assigned in this category.

Cellular Component

No terms assigned in this category.

Contributing signatures

Signatures from InterPro member databases are used to construct an entry.