The Bcl-2 family in host-virus interactions Academic Article uri icon


  • Members of the B cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) family are pivotal arbiters of mitochondrially mediated apoptosis, a process of fundamental importance during tissue development, homeostasis, and disease. At the structural and mechanistic level, the mammalian members of the Bcl-2 family are increasingly well understood, with their interplay ultimately deciding the fate of a cell. Dysregulation of Bcl-2-mediated apoptosis underlies a plethora of diseases, and numerous viruses have acquired homologs of Bcl-2 to subvert host cell apoptosis and autophagy to prevent premature death of an infected cell. Here we review the structural biology, interactions, and mechanisms of action of virus-encoded Bcl-2 proteins, and how they impact on host-virus interactions to ultimately enable successful establishment and propagation of viral infections.

publication date

  • 2017