Interactions among members of the Bcl-2 protein family analyzed with a yeast two-hybrid system

Takaaki Sato, Motoi Hanada, Sharon Bodrug, Shinji Irie, Natsuko Iwama, Lawrence H. Boise, Craig B. Thompson, Erica Golemis, Linda Fong, Hong Gang Wang, John C. Reed

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Interactions of the Bcl-2 protein with itself and other members of the Bcl-2 family, including Bcl-X-L, Bcl-X-S, Mcl-1, and Bax, were explored with a yeast two-hybrid system. Fusion proteins were created by linking Bcl-2 family proteins to a LexA DNA-binding domain or a B42 trans-activation domain. Protein-protein interactions were examined by expression of these fusion proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae having a lacZ (β-galactosidase) gene under control of a LexA-dependent operator. This approach gave evidence for Bcl-2 protein homodimerization. Bcl-2 also interacted with Bcl-X-L and Mcl-1 and with the dominant inhibitors Bax and Bcl-X-S. Bcl-X-L displayed the same pattern of combinatorial interactions with Bcl-2 family proteins as Bcl- 2. Use of deletion mutants of Bcl-2 suggested that Bcl-2 homodimerization involves interactions between two distinct regions within the Bcl-2 protein, since a LexA protein containing Bcl-2 amino acids 83-218 mediated functional interactions with a B42 fusion protein containing Bcl-2 amino acids 1-81 but did not complement a B42 fusion protein containing Bcl-2 amino acids 83-218. In contrast to LexA/Bcl-2 fusion proteins, expression of a LexA/Bax protein was lethal to yeast. This cytotoxicity could be abrogated by B42 fusion proteins containing Bcl-2, Bcl-X-L, or Mcl-1 but not those containing Bcl-X- S (an alternatively spliced form of Bcl-X that lacks a well-conserved 63- amino acid region). The findings suggest a model whereby Bax and Bcl-X-S differentially regulate Bcl-2 function, and indicate that requirements for Bcl-2/Bax heterodimerization may be different from those for Bcl-2/Bcl-2 homodimerization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9238-9242
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number20
StatePublished - Sep 27 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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