Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2005 Feb;37(2):267-71. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2004.04.007.


Mcl-1 is a Bcl-2 family protein which can act as an apical molecule in apoptosis control, promoting cell survival by interfering at an early stage in a cascade of events leading to release of cytochrome c from mitochondria. Mcl-1 has a short half life and is a highly regulated protein, induced by a wide range of survival signals and also rapidly down regulated during apoptosis. Mcl-1 can also readily be cleaved by caspases during apoptosis to produce a cell death promoting molecule. The multiple levels of control of Mcl-1 expression suggest that Mcl-1 plays a critical role in controlling life and death decisions in response to rapidly changing environmental cues and Mcl-1 is required for embryonic development and the function of the immune system. Expression of Mcl-1 may be useful in informing decision making in the treatment of various cancers, and countering Mcl-1 function may be an attractive therapeutic strategy in malignancy, inflammatory conditions and infectious disease where Mcl-1 may play a major role in suppressing apoptosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Communicable Diseases / metabolism
  • Communicable Diseases / therapy
  • Cytochromes c / metabolism
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Embryonic Development / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / therapy
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Myeloid Cell Leukemia Sequence 1 Protein
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Myeloid Cell Leukemia Sequence 1 Protein
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Cytochromes c
  • Caspases