The function of the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family member Bcl2a1/Bfl-1/A1 is poorly understood due to the lack of appropriate loss-of-function mouse models and redundant effects with other Bcl-2 pro-survival proteins upon overexpression. Expression analysis of A1 suggests predominant roles in leukocyte development, their survival upon viral or bacterial infection, as well as during allergic reactions. In addition, A1 has been implicated in autoimmunity and the pathology and therapy resistance of hematological as well as solid tumors that may aberrantly express this protein. In this review, we aim to summarize current knowledge on A1 biology, focusing on its role in the immune system and compare it to that of other pro-survival Bcl-2 proteins.
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