The Drosophila bcl-2 family member dBorg-1 functions in the apoptotic response to UV-irradiation

Curr Biol. 2000 May 4;10(9):547-50. doi: 10.1016/s0960-9822(00)00474-7.


As with all metazoans, the fly makes extensive use of selective programmed cell death (PCD) to remove excess cells and properly sculpt developing tissues. Several core components of the cell death machinery have been identified in flies, including caspases and an Apaf-1 ortholog [1] [2] [3] [4]. One missing component has been a member of the Bcl-2 family of proteins, which act either pro- or anti-apoptotically as upstream regulatory proteins. Here, we report the identification of Bcl-2 family members in Drosophila - dBorg-1 (Drosophila Bcl-2 ortholog), also identified by Igaki et al. [5], and dBorg-2. Removal of dBorg-1 function during Drosophila embryonic development resulted in excess glial cells, demonstrating its pro-apoptotic function. In cell culture assays, dBorg-1 efficiently induced apoptosis but, remarkably, also demonstrated protective activity when death stimuli were introduced. Finally, ectopic expression of dBorg-1 in the eye led to subtle defects that were strongly potentiated by ultra violet (UV) irradiation, resulting in a dramatic loss of retinal cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis* / radiation effects
  • Base Sequence
  • CHO Cells
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival
  • Cricetinae
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Eye / cytology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Humans
  • Insect Proteins / genetics
  • Insect Proteins / physiology*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neuroglia
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / physiology*
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • debcl protein, Drosophila

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF244352