Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Cancer Biology

Major Professor

W. Douglas Cress, Ph.D.


E2F1, Flavopiridol, Promoter, Luciferase assay, Chromatin immunopresipitation


Bok/Mtd (Bcl-2-related ovarian killer/Matador) is considered a pro-apoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family. Though identified in 1997, little is known about its biological role. We have previously demonstrated that Bok mRNA is upregulated following E2F1 over-expression. In the current work, we demonstrate that Bok RNA is low in quiescent cells and rises upon serum stimulation. To determine the mechanism underlying this regulation, we cloned and characterized the mouse Bok promoter. We find that the mouse promoter contains a conserved E2F binding site (-43 to -49) and that a Bok promoter-driven luciferase reporter is activated by serum stimulation dependent on this site. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays demonstrate that endogenous E2F1 and E2F3 associate with the Bok promoter in vivo. Surprisingly, we find that H1299 cells can stably express high levels of exogenous Bok. However, these cells are highly sensitive to chemotherapeutic drug treatment. Taken together these results demonstrate that Bok represents a cell cycle-regulated pro-apoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family, which may predispose growing cells to chemotherapeutic treatment.