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[HLA-B-associated transcript 3; B-associated transcript 3] This gene, located within human major histocompatibility complex, has been identified by Banerji et al (1990). The protein (110 kDa) contains an amino-terminal ubiquitin-like domain. Sequence comparisons show that BAT3 is identical with scythe. Another designation for scythe is BAG-6 [BCL2-associated athanogene-6].

The rat ortholog, termed RLC34 by Wang and Liew (1994), is expressed predominantly in the germ cells of rodent testes. Ozaki et al (1993), have cloned the rat BAT3 cDNA and have shown that the encoded protein interacts with the tumor suppressor protein DAN. Kumar et al (2004) have reported that BAT3 interacts with IER3 [immediate-early response-3].

Wu et al (2004) have identified human BAT3 as a ricin A chain interacting protein. Ricin induces cell death by apoptosis by activating caspase-3 and this leads to the cleavage of BAT3. BAT3 is a caspase-3 substrate, as shown by the ability of zDEVD-fmk, a caspase-3 specific inhibitor, to prevent BAT3 cleavage and the absence of BAT3 cleavage in cells not expressing caspase-3. Silencing the expression of endogenous BAT3 suppresses ricin-induced apoptosis.

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