25-27 November 2015
National Centre for Synchrotron Science
Australia/Melbourne timezone

The BHP2 protein - an evolutionary perspective on the intrinsic apoptotic pathway

27 Nov 2015, 12:10
NCSS Seminar Room ()

NCSS Seminar Room

Oral Structural Biology Structural Biology


Dr Sofia Caria (La Trobe University)


Apoptosis or programmed cell death is a crucial response to perturbations in physiological conditions, allowing an organism to determine if a given cell can be eliminated when unneeded, damaged or dangerous for the organism. In this mechanism the B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) protein family plays an important role in regulating the homeostasis [1]. Sponges are the phylogenetically oldest existent members of the Metazoa phylum. It has been demonstrated that *Geodia cydonium* (*G. cydonium*) and *Suberites domuncula* possesses polypeptide sequences with high sequence similarity to Bcl-2 protein members [2]. The study of these proteins is highly relevant for the understanding of the evolution of apoptosis across species. BHP2, a *G. cydonium* pro-survival Bcl-2 protein, has been shown to be involved in apoptotic pathway [3]. In this study the BHP2 protein biochemical characterisation using ITC as well as its structure determination in complex with a BH3-only peptide has enable us to shine light on the sponges apoptosis mechanism and compare it to others previously characterized such as the mammalian and viral. A better understanding of how apoptosis evolved across species might yield value information for rational drug design. References: [1]- Kvansakul M et al. (2014) *Method Enzymol.* 544, 44-79. [2]- Wiens M et al. (2000) *J. Mol. Evol.* 50, 520-531. [3]- Wiens M et al. (2001) *Cell Death Differ.* 8, 887-98.
Keywords sponge, Bcl-2, apoptosis

Primary author

Dr Sofia Caria (La Trobe University)


Dr Marc Kvansakul (La Trobe University)

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