Regulators of IAP function: coming to grips with the grim reaper

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2003 Dec;15(6):717-24. doi: 10.1016/


Inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) are a conserved class of proteins that control apoptosis in both vertebrates and invertebrates. They exert their anti-apoptotic function through inhibition of caspases, the principal executioners of apoptotic cell death. Recent advances in vertebrates and Drosophila have demonstrated that IAPs use ubiquitin conjugation to control the stability, and thus the activity, of select target proteins. The Drosophila IAP1 gene is an instructive example: it employs at least two distinct ubiquitin-dependent mechanisms of protein destruction. The apoptosis-inducing genes grim, reaper and hid modulate these mechanisms, and determine the outcome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Cell Survival
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Genetic
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Proteins / physiology*
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Signal Transduction
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • HID protein, Drosophila
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • Ubiquitin
  • grim protein, Drosophila
  • immunosuppressive acidic protein
  • rpr protein, Drosophila