Death by association: BH3 domain-only proteins and liver injury

E. S. Baskin-Bey, G. J. Gores

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Apoptosis, a prominent form of cell death, is a prime feature of many acute and chronic liver diseases. Apoptosis requires mitochondrial dysfunction, which is regulated by proteins of the Bcl-2 family. Whether or not a cell should live or die is controlled by the interaction of multidomain Bcl-2 proteins with proapoptotic BH3 domain-only proteins of this family. Current models suggest multidomain, antiapoptotic Bcl-2 proteins prevent mitochondrial dysfunction by sequestering and/or preventing activation of its proapoptotic relatives. BH3-only proteins initiate cell death by neutralizing and or ligating multidomain prosurvival Bcl-2 proteins. Thus BH3 domain-only proteins are paramount in the apoptotic process as exemplified by the role of the BH3 domain-only protein Bid in liver injury. In this concise review, we will focus on how these BH3 domain-only proteins are regulated in the cell, their association with the Bcl-2 family of proteins, and finally, current information regarding their involvement in liver cell apoptosis and injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G987-G990
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number6 52-6
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Apoptosis
  • Death receptors
  • Mitochondria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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