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© 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Most animal cells possess a mechanism that, when activated, causes their destruction. This cell death mechanism has evolved to balance production of new cells by cell division, and to remove unwanted cells, such as those that are infected, mutated, or damaged. The Bcl2 family of proteins are key regulators and components of the cell death mechanism. Some members of the family promote cell death, whereas others, including Bcl2 itself, inhibit cell death.

Original publication





Book title

Encyclopedia of Biological Chemistry: Second Edition

Publication Date



165 - 166