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Mol Cell. 1998 Feb;1(3):337-46.

Bax inhibitor-1, a mammalian apoptosis suppressor identified by functional screening in yeast.

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Burnham Institute Program on Apoptosis and Cell Death Research La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


The mammalian proapoptotic protein Bax confers a lethal phenotype when expressed in yeast. By exploiting this phenotype, we have identified a novel human Bax inhibitor, BI-1. BI-1 is an evolutionarily conserved integral membrane protein containing multiple membrane-spanning segments and is predominantly localized to intracellular membranes, similar to Bcl-2 family proteins. Moreover, BI-1 can interact with Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL but Bax or Bak, as demonstrated by in vivo cross-linking and coimmunoprecipitation studies. When overexpressed in mammalian cells, BI-1 suppressed apoptosis included by Bax, etoposide, staurosporine, and growth factor deprivation, but not by Fas (CD95). Conversely, BI-1 antisense induced apoptosis. BI-1 thus represents a new type of regulator of cell death pathways controlled by Bcl-2 and Bax.

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