Bcl-w is a pro-survival (anti-apoptotic) member of the Bcl-2 family; a family involved in the regulation of cellular apoptosis at the mitochondrion. Relative to its Bcl-2 counterparts there is considerably less data on this prticular protein.
Studies of the related gene in mice indicated a role in the survival of NGF- and BDNF-dependent neurons. Mutation and knockout studies of the mouse gene demonstrated an essential role in adult spermatogenesis.
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