Structure and function of apoptotic regulators

The B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) family of proteins regulates programmed cell death, or apoptosis, a controlled cell suicide that helps removal of unwanted, compromised or diseased cells from an organism. Breakdown or interference in regulation of the Bcl-2 family is a hallmark of neurodegeneration and cancer, in addition to a mechanism for evasion of the immune response.

With the aim of understanding the exact molecular details of the interactions within the Bcl-2 family we are determining the structure and function of proteins and their complexes in this family. This data gives us a greater understanding of the action of Bcl-2 proteins at a molecular level and points to ways of manipulating this family with drugs.