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Gene Review

Bik  -  BCL2-interacting killer

Mus musculus

Synonyms: Apoptosis inducer NBK, Bcl-2-interacting killer, Bik-like killer protein, Biklk, Blk, ...
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Disease relevance of Bik


High impact information on Bik

  • Thus, Bik and Bim share, upstream of Bax, the role of eliminating supernumerary germ cells during the first wave of spermatogenesis, a process vital for normal testicular development [6].
  • To investigate whether functional redundancy with Bim might obscure a significant role for Bik, we generated mice lacking both genes [6].
  • We have determined the expression pattern in mice of the BH3-only protein Bik, also called Blk or Nbk, and examined its physiological function by gene targeting [7].
  • These results indicate that any function of Bik in programmed cell death and stress-induced apoptosis must overlap that of other BH3-only proteins [7].
  • We found that Bik is expressed widely in the hematopoietic compartment and in endothelial cells of the venous but not arterial lineages [7].

Biological context of Bik

  • Concomitant loss of proapoptotic BH3-only Bcl-2 antagonists Bik and Bim arrests spermatogenesis [6].
  • Loss of individual BH3-only proteins can lead either to no phenotype, as in mice lacking Bik, or to marked cell excess, as in the hematopoietic compartment of animals lacking Bim [6].
  • As a model, we used the T-cell leukemia H9 (CD3(+) and CD4(+)CD8(-)), which is resistant to corticosteroid-induced cell death and does not express endogenous Bik/Nbk [5].
  • The complete suppression of tumor growth in a severe combined immunodeficient mouse xenotransplant model suggests that, in analogy to Bax, Bik/Nbk may function as a tumor suppressor gene [5].
  • Inspection of the human chromosome 22 syntenic region identified the proapoptotic Bik gene as a candidate [8].

Anatomical context of Bik

  • However, although testes develop normally in mice lacking either Bik or Bim, adult bik-/-bim-/- males were infertile, with reduced testicular cellularity and no spermatozoa [6].
  • This protein, designated Blk, is structurally and functionally related to human Bik and localized to the mitochondrial membrane [9].
  • To determine whether the BH3 domain possesses a similar role in tumor tissues in vivo, we overexpressed the wild-type Bik protein and its BH3-deleted counterpart, using adenoviral technology, in chemoresistant human tumor prostate (PC-3) and colon (HT-29) cell lines growing in vitro and in vivo [4].
  • Cutting edge: A/WySnJ transitional B cells overexpress the chromosome 15 proapoptotic Blk gene and succumb to premature apoptosis [8].

Associations of Bik with chemical compounds

  • Significantly delayed tumor growth was the result when mice received doxycycline for induction of Nbk/Bik expression [1].
  • Conditional expression of Nbk/Bik by applying the inducible tetracycline-responsive expression system triggered apoptosis and enhanced sensitivity to proapoptotic stimuli as to agonistic CD95 activation and to chemotherapeutics etoposide, doxorubicin and pamidronate [1].
  • The increase in Bik levels seems to reflect inhibition by bortezomib of its proteasome-mediated degradation [3].

Physical interactions of Bik

  • Blk contains a conserved BH3 domain and can interact with the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL [9].

Other interactions of Bik

  • Therefore, we investigated whether the death-promoting Bcl-2 homologue Bik/Nbk can enhance cytostatic drug-induced apoptosis [5].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Bik

  • Moreover, Bik mutant-liposome complexes inhibited tumor growth and prolonged life span more effectively than the wild-type Bik-liposome complex in an in vivo orthotopic animal model [2].


  1. Caspase-independent induction of apoptosis in human melanoma cells by the proapoptotic Bcl-2-related protein Nbk / Bik. Oppermann, M., Geilen, C.C., Fecker, L.F., Gillissen, B., Daniel, P.T., Eberle, J. Oncogene (2005) [Pubmed]
  2. Enhancement of Bik antitumor effect by Bik mutants. Li, Y.M., Wen, Y., Zhou, B.P., Kuo, H.P., Ding, Q., Hung, M.C. Cancer Res. (2003) [Pubmed]
  3. The proteasome inhibitor bortezomib sensitizes cells to killing by death receptor ligand TRAIL via BH3-only proteins Bik and Bim. Nikrad, M., Johnson, T., Puthalalath, H., Coultas, L., Adams, J., Kraft, A.S. Mol. Cancer Ther. (2005) [Pubmed]
  4. The pro-apoptotic protein, Bik, exhibits potent antitumor activity that is dependent on its BH3 domain. Tong, Y., Yang, Q., Vater, C., Venkatesh, L.K., Custeau, D., Chittenden, T., Chinnadurai, G., Gourdeau, H. Mol. Cancer Ther. (2001) [Pubmed]
  5. Expression of the death gene Bik/Nbk promotes sensitivity to drug-induced apoptosis in corticosteroid-resistant T-cell lymphoma and prevents tumor growth in severe combined immunodeficient mice. Daniel, P.T., Pun, K.T., Ritschel, S., Sturm, I., Holler, J., Dörken, B., Brown, R. Blood (1999) [Pubmed]
  6. Concomitant loss of proapoptotic BH3-only Bcl-2 antagonists Bik and Bim arrests spermatogenesis. Coultas, L., Bouillet, P., Loveland, K.L., Meachem, S., Perlman, H., Adams, J.M., Strasser, A. EMBO J. (2005) [Pubmed]
  7. Proapoptotic BH3-only Bcl-2 family member Bik/Blk/Nbk is expressed in hemopoietic and endothelial cells but is redundant for their programmed death. Coultas, L., Bouillet, P., Stanley, E.G., Brodnicki, T.C., Adams, J.M., Strasser, A. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  8. Cutting edge: A/WySnJ transitional B cells overexpress the chromosome 15 proapoptotic Blk gene and succumb to premature apoptosis. Amanna, I.J., Clise-Dwyer, K., Nashold, F.E., Hoag, K.A., Hayes, C.E. J. Immunol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  9. Blk, a BH3-containing mouse protein that interacts with Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, is a potent death agonist. Hegde, R., Srinivasula, S.M., Ahmad, M., Fernandes-Alnemri, T., Alnemri, E.S. J. Biol. Chem. (1998) [Pubmed]
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