Role of Bok in chemo-resistance

Bok (Bcl-2 related ovarian killer) is a protein that is believed to be a member of multidomain Bax/Bak sub-family member. It is widely reported to be a pro-apoptotic protein. However, genomic knock-out of this protein by our collaborator (Dr Thomas Kaufmann, Bern, Switzerland) revealed that these mice did not have any apparent phenotype. To better understand its function, we conducted a yeast two-hybrid screen and identified a protein that regulates pyramidine metabolism. Work is underway to further elucidate its role in pyramidine biosynthesis through structure determination by X-ray crystallography and to understand its role in drug resistance during cancer chemotherapy.