Structure and function of the enigmatic cell death protein Bok

Structure and function of the enigmatic cell death protein Bok

Project details

The Bcl-2 family of proteins regulate apoptosis, a process the body uses to protect against rogue cells (Czabotar, Nature Reviews Mol Cell Biol 2014 15:49). Evasion of apoptosis is a hallmark of cancer. Understanding the functions of Bcl-2 family proteins is important for our understanding of disease progression and the development of cancer therapeutics. 

Unlike other Bcl-2 family members, the function of Bok remained elusive for many years. A recent paper suggests that it functions as a pro-apoptotic protein (Llambi, Cell, 2016 165:421).

This project will further investigate the function and activity of Bok using cellular, biochemical and structural studies. The project would be suited to students interested in learning techniques in cell biology, protein characterisation, binding and biochemical studies and/or structural biology. 


About our research group

Our labs are situated in the Institute’s Structural Biology and Cell Signalling and Cell Death divisions. Our research focuses on understanding proteins involved in programmed cell death. We use structural techniques such as x-ray crystallography to image proteins and cellular and biochemical assays in order to discover how they control key steps in these pathways.  



Dr Grant Dewson

Grant Dewson
Laboratory Head

Project Type: