Bim and Bmf in tissue homeostasis and malignant disease

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Among all BH3-only proteins known to date, most information is available on the biological role and function of Bim (Bcl-2 interacting mediator of cell death)/BOD (Bcl-2 related ovarian death agonist), whereas little is still known about its closest relative, Bcl-2 modifying factor (Bmf). Although Bim has been implicated in the regulation of cell death induction in multiple cell types and tissues in response to a large number of stimuli, including growth factor or cytokine deprivation, calcium flux, ligation of antigen receptors on T and B cells, glucocorticoid or loss of adhesion, Bmf seems to play a more restricted role by supporting Bim in some of these cell death processes. This review aims to highlight similarities between Bim and Bmf function in apoptosis signaling and their role in normal development and disease.

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