Bcl-2 family proteins as therapeutic targets.

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research, 1G Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
Current pharmaceutical design (Impact Factor: 3.29). 09/2010; 16(28):3132-48. DOI: 10.2174/138161210793292429
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The mitochondrion provides the stage for the interplay of molecular interactions that regulate apoptosis via the intrinsic pathway. The release of apoptogenic factors from this compartment constitutes a critical juncture in this apoptotic pathway. Regulation of the integrity of the outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) is the task of the Bcl-2 family of proteins. A network of interactions between the various subgroups of the family decides the apoptotic fate of a cell and, as such, an imbalance within this network can lead to a variety of disease states. In particular, over-expression of pro-survival Bcl-2 family proteins is a hallmark of many cancers. Here we discuss recent advances in targeting the Bcl-2 family with both peptides and small molecules.