Bcl-2 was the first identified cellular protein that functions as an oncogene by blocking apoptotic cell death. Beclin 1, the first identified mammalian autophagy gene product, is a haplo-insufficient tumor suppressor that was originally isolated as a Bcl-2-interacting protein. We recently showed that Bcl-2 negatively regulates Beclin 1-dependent autophagy and Beclin 1-dependent autophagic cell death. These findings raise the possibility that Bcl-2 family members may function as oncogenes not only by blocking apoptosis but also by blocking autophagy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research