Bcl-2 prevents death of factor-deprived cells but fails to prevent apoptosis in targets of cell mediated killing.
Vaux DL., Aguila HL., Weissman IL.
'Programmed cell death' has been used to describe the death of cells killed by cytotoxic T cells or growth factor deprivation. Although bcl-2 can prevent death of cells deprived of growth factor, it failed to protect cells against T cell killing. In spite of bcl-2 expression, the DNA of targeted cells was degraded into nucleosome-sized fragments. Therefore the early steps in apoptosis induced by factor deprivation differ from those triggered by cytotoxic T cells, although they share a common final pathway featuring degradation of the DNA and loss of cytoplasmic membrane integrity.