Apoptosis pp 157-177 | Cite as

The BCL-2 Gene: A Regulator of Programmed Cell Death

  • David M. Hockenbery
Part of the Pezcoller Foundation Symposia book series (PFSO, volume 5)


The bcl-2 gene was cloned as a novel gene located at a chromosomal translocation breakpoint in follicular B cell lymphomas by three groups in 19851,2,3 Follicular lymphomas are indolent tumors, difficult to eradicate but slow to progress, and are believed to originate from centrocytic B cells in germinal centers4. 85% or more of follicular lymphomas carry a t(14;18) (q32;q21) leading to the expectation that a new cellular oncogene would be activated by this translocation5,6 The bcl-2 gene is found on chromosome 18 at q21 and juxtaposed in a tail to head fashion to elements of the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus on chromosome 14 in the 14;18 translocation (Figure 1). As expected, the bcl-2-Ig fusion mRNA is overproduced in t(14;18) cells, leading to elevated levels of the 26 kd bcl-2 protein and changes in cellular phenotype7,8.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Hockenbery
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Clinical Research and Program in Molecular MedicineFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA

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