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Advances in Hematology
Volume 2012, Article ID 524308, 15 pages
Review Article

The Role of BCL2 Family of Apoptosis Regulator Proteins in Acute and Chronic Leukemias

1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, 15701 Athens, Greece
2“Aghia Sophia” Children's Hospital, Thibon & Papadiamantopoulou, 11527 Athens, Greece
3Second Department of Internal Medicine—Propaedeutic, Hematology Unit, University of Athens, Medical School, University General Hospital “Attikon”, 1 Rimini Street, 12462 Haidari, Greece
4Research Laboratories, 2nd Department of Pediatrics, Medical School, University of Athens, P & A Kyriakou Children's Hospital Thivon & Levadeias, 11527 Athens, Greece
5First Department of Oncology, St. Savvas Anticancer Hospital, 171, Alexandras Avenue, 11522 Athens, Greece

Received 6 March 2011; Revised 22 May 2011; Accepted 27 June 2011

Academic Editor: Michael H. Tomasson

Copyright © 2012 Flora Tzifi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The disturbance of apoptosis molecular signaling pathways is involved in carcinogenesis. BCL2 family of proteins is the hallmark of apoptosis regulation. In the last decade, new members of BCL2 gene family were discovered and cloned and were found to be differentially expressed in many types of cancer. BCL2 protein family, through its role in regulation of apoptotic pathways, is possibly related to cancer pathophysiology and resistance to conventional chemotherapy. It is well known that leukemias are haematopoietic malignancies characterized by biological diversity, varied cytogenetics, different immunophenotype profiles, and diverse outcome. Current research focuses on the prognostic impact and specific role of these proteins in the pathogenesis of leukemias. The understanding of the molecular pathways that participate in the biology of leukemias may lead to the design of new therapies which may improve patients' survival. In the present paper, we describe current knowledge on the role of BCL2 apoptosis regulator proteins in acute and chronic leukemias.