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Bok is a pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein with restricted expression in reproductive tissues and heterodimerizes with selective anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members.

Authors: Hsu, SY  Kaipia, A  McGee, E  Lomeli, M  Hsueh, AJ 
Citation: Hsu SY, etal., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1997 Nov 11;94(23):12401-6.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:9356461

In the intracellular death program, hetero- and homodimerization of different anti- and pro-apoptotic Bcl-2-related proteins are critical in the determination of cell fate. From a rat ovarian fusion cDNA library, we isolated a new pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 gene, Bcl-2-related ovarian killer (Bok). Bok had conserved Bcl-2 homology (BH) domains 1, 2, and 3 and a C-terminal transmembrane region present in other Bcl-2 proteins, but lacked the BH4 domain found only in anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 proteins. In the yeast two-hybrid system, Bok interacted strongly with some (Mcl-1, BHRF1, and Bfl-1) but not other (Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and Bcl-w) anti-apoptotic members. This finding is in direct contrast to the ability of other pro-apoptotic members (Bax, Bak, and Bik) to interact with all of the anti-apoptotic proteins. In addition, negligible interaction was found between Bok and different pro-apoptotic members. In mammalian cells, overexpression of Bok induced apoptosis that was blocked by the baculoviral-derived cysteine protease inhibitor P35. Cell killing induced by Bok was also suppressed following coexpression with Mcl-1 and BHRF1 but not with Bcl-2, further indicating that Bok heterodimerized only with selective anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 proteins. Northern blot analysis indicated that Bok was highly expressed in the ovary, testis and uterus. In situ hybridization analysis localized Bok mRNA in granulosa cells, the cell type that underwent apoptosis during follicle atresia. Identification of Bok as a new pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein with restricted tissue distribution and heterodimerization properties could facilitate elucidation of apoptosis mechanisms in reproductive tissues undergoing hormone-regulated cyclic cell turnover.


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RGD Object Information
RGD ID: 70678
Created: 2002-06-18
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2002-06-18
Status: ACTIVE


RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.