Bcl-rambo, a novel Bcl-2 homologue that induces apoptosis via its unique C-terminal extension

J Biol Chem. 2001 Jun 1;276(22):19548-54. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M010520200. Epub 2001 Mar 21.


The Bcl-2 family of proteins plays a central regulatory role in apoptosis. We have identified a novel, widely expressed Bcl-2 member which we have named Bcl-rambo. Bcl-rambo shows overall structural homology to the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 members containing conserved Bcl-2 homology (BH) motifs 1, 2, 3, and 4. Unlike Bcl-2, however, the C-terminal membrane anchor region is preceded by a unique 250 amino acid insertion containing two tandem repeats. No interaction of Bcl-rambo with either anti-apoptotic (Bcl-2, Bcl-x(L), Bcl-w, A1, MCL-1, E1B-19K, and BHRF1) or pro-apoptotic (Bax, Bak, Bik, Bid, Bim, and Bad) members of the Bcl-2 family was observed. In mammalian cells, Bcl-rambo was localized to mitochondria, and its overexpression induces apoptosis that is specifically blocked by the caspase inhibitors, IAPs, whereas inhibitors controlling upstream events of either the 'death receptor' (FLIP, FADD-DN) or the 'mitochondrial' pro-apoptotic pathway (Bcl-x(L)) had no effect. Surprisingly, the Bcl-rambo cell death activity was induced by its membrane-anchored C-terminal domain and not by the Bcl-2 homology region. Thus, Bcl-rambo constitutes a novel type of pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 member that triggers cell death independently of its BH motifs.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Apoptosis*
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Death
  • Cell Line
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cytochrome c Group / metabolism
  • DNA, Complementary / metabolism
  • Gene Library
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmids / metabolism
  • Precipitin Tests
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / biosynthesis*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / chemistry*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transfection


  • BCL2L13 protein, human
  • Cytochrome c Group
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF325209