Journal article

Degenerative disorders caused by Bcl-2 deficiency prevented by loss of its BH3-only antagonist bim

P Bouillet, S Cory, LC Zhang, A Strasser, JM Adams



Apoptosis is triggered when proapoptotic members of the Bcl-2 protein family bearing only the BH3 association domain bind to Bcl-2 or its homologs and block their antiapoptotic activity. To test whether loss of the BH3-only protein Bim could prevent the cellular attrition caused by Bcl-2 deficiency, we generated mice lacking both genes. Mice without Bcl-2 have a fragile lymphoid system, become runted, turn gray, and succumb to polycystic kidney disease. Concomitant absence of Bim prevented all these disorders. Indeed, loss of even one bim allele restored normal kidney development, growth, and health. These results demonstrate that Bim levels set the threshold for initiation of apoptosis in s..

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