Drosophila homologs of baculovirus inhibitor of apoptosis proteins function to block cell death

Cell. 1995 Dec 29;83(7):1253-62. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(95)90150-7.


Apoptotic cell death is a mechanism by which organisms eliminate superfluous or harmful cells. Expression of the cell death regulatory protein REAPER (RPR) in the developing Drosophila eye results in a small eye owing to excess cell death. We show that mutations in thread (th) are dominant enhancers of RPR-induced cell death and that th encodes a protein homologous to baculovirus inhibitors of apoptosis (IAPs), which we call Drosophila IAP1 (DIAP1). Overexpression of DIAP1 or a related protein, DIAP2, in the eye suppresses normally occurring cell death as well as death due to overexpression of rpr or head involution defective. IAP death-preventing activity localizes to the N-terminal baculovirus IAP repeats, a motif found in both viral and cellular proteins associated with death prevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Biological Evolution
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic / genetics
  • Eye / ultrastructure
  • Genes, Insect / physiology
  • Genetic Testing
  • Humans
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Insect Proteins / genetics
  • Mammals
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / physiology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Peptides / physiology
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid / physiology
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Viral Proteins / genetics*


  • DIAP1 protein, Drosophila
  • DIAP2 protein, Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Viral Proteins
  • inhibitor of apoptosis, Nucleopolyhedrovirus
  • rpr protein, Drosophila

Associated data

  • GENBANK/L49440
  • GENBANK/L49441