The Bax Inhibitor-1 (BI-1) family in apoptosis and tumorigenesis

Curr Mol Med. 2008 Mar;8(2):148-56. doi: 10.2174/156652408783769562.


The signaling pathways that determine the fate of a cell regarding death or survival depend on a large number of regulatory proteins. The Bax Inhibitor-1 (BI-1) family is a highly preserved family of small transmembrane proteins located mostly in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Although most members of this family are still not characterized an antiapoptotic effect has been described for BI-1, Lifeguard (LFG), and the Golgi anti-apoptotic protein (GAAP). The cytoprotective activity has been associated to the control of ion homeostasis and ER stress but includes other cell death stimuli as well. Recent data describes multiple interactions between the proteins of the BI-1 family and the Bcl-2 family either stimulating the antiapoptotic function of Bcl-2 or inhibiting the proapoptotic effect of Bax. The potent cell death suppression makes this protein family an interesting target for the development of new drugs and gene therapeutic approaches for diseases caused by apoptotic dysregulation, such as cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / genetics
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / metabolism*
  • Apoptosis*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Phylogeny


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • RECS1 protein, mouse
  • TMBIM4 protein, human
  • TMBIM6 protein, human