A conserved family of cellular genes related to the baculovirus iap gene and encoding apoptosis inhibitors

EMBO J. 1996 Jun 3;15(11):2685-94.


The baculovirus inhibitor of apoptosis gene, iap, can impede cell death in insect cells. Here we show that iap can also prevent cell death in mammalian cells. The ability of iap to regulate programmed cell death in widely divergent species raised the possibility that cellular homologs of iap might exist. Consistent with this hypothesis, we have isolated Drosophila and human genes which encode IAP-like proteins (dILP and hILP). Like IAP, both dILP and hILP contain amino-terminal baculovirus IAP repeats (BIRs) and carboxy-terminal RING finger domains. Human ilp encodes a widely expressed cytoplasmic protein that can suppress apoptosis in transfected cells. An analysis of the expressed sequence tag database suggests that hilp is one of several human genes related to iap. Together these data suggest that iap and related cellular genes play an evolutionarily conserved role in the regulation of apoptosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Baculoviridae / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Primers / chemistry
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes
  • Humans
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Viral Proteins / genetics*
  • X-Linked Inhibitor of Apoptosis Protein


  • DIAP2 protein, Drosophila
  • DNA Primers
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Viral Proteins
  • X-Linked Inhibitor of Apoptosis Protein
  • XIAP protein, human
  • inhibitor of apoptosis, Nucleopolyhedrovirus

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M96581
  • GENBANK/R07927
  • GENBANK/R19628
  • GENBANK/R57975
  • GENBANK/T16094
  • GENBANK/T96284
  • GENBANK/U32373
  • GENBANK/U32974