La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation, Cancer Research Center, Oncogene and Tumor Suppressor Gene Program, La Jolla, California 92037 HE terms programmed cell death (PCD) 1 and apoptosis are often used interchangeably to describe a mechanism of cellular demise that is believed to play an important role in a wide variety of physiological situations, and that when dysregulated can contribute to the pathogenesis of many diseases ranging from cancer to AIDS. Recently, the bcl-2 gene has emerged as a critical regulator of PCD in a variety of physiological and pathological contexts. Discovery of bcl-2 and Its Involvement in t(14:18) Translocations Bcl-2 is the acronym for the B-cell lymphoma/leukemia-2 gene. As implied by its name, this gene was first discovered because of its involvement in B-cell malignancies, where chromosomal translocations activate the gene in the majority of follicular non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphomas (Tsujimoto et al., 1985). In these translocations, the bcl-2 gene is moved from its normal chromosomal location at 18q21 into juxtaposition with powerful enhancer elements in the immunoglobulin heavy-chain (IgH) locus at 14q32, with the result being deregulation of the translocated bcl-2 gene and overproduction of bci-2 mRNAs and their encoded proteins (reviewed by Nowell and Croce, 1987). Though
The Journal of Cell Biology – Rockefeller University Press
Published: Jan 1, 1994
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