D. Hockenbery, G. Nunez, Curt Milliman, R.D. Schreiber, S.J. Korsmeyer, "Bcl-2 is an inner mitochondrial membrane protein that blocks programmed cell death," Nature, 348:334-36, 1990.
David Hockenbery (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis): "Bcl-2 is the oncogene located at the breakpoint of the chromosomal translocation t(14;18) found in follicular lymphomas. This paper demonstrated two unique features of the Bcl-2 oncogene. The first is its cellular role as a survival factor against cell death induced by growth factor deprivation, a model for programmed cell death or apoptosis.
Subsequent work has shown that Bcl-2 protects against a wide variety of apoptosis-inducing agents, including radiation. This is the first example of an oncogene regulating cell survival rather than proliferation.
"The second novel feature of the Bcl-2 oncogene is its subcellular localization, identified in this paper as the inner mitochondrial membrane. Although alterations in mitochondrial function have long been...