Role for yeast inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP)-like proteins in cell division Academic Article uri icon


  • Inhibitors of apoptosis (IAPs) are a family of proteins that bear baculoviral IAP repeats (BIRs) and regulate apoptosis in vertebrates and Drosophila melanogaster. The yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe both encode a single IAP, designated BIR1 and bir1, respectively, each of which bears two BIRs. In rich medium, BIR1 mutant S. cerevisiae underwent normal vegetative growth and mitosis. Under starvation conditions, however, BIR1 mutant diploids formed spores inefficiently, instead undergoing pseudohyphal differentiation. Most spores that did form failed to survive beyond two divisions after germination. bir1 mutant S. pombe spores also died in the early divisions after spore germination and became blocked at the metaphase/anaphase transition because of an inability to elongate their mitotic spindle. Rather than inhibiting caspase-mediated cell death, yeast IAP proteins have roles in cell division and appear to act in a similar way to the IAPs from Caenorhabditis elegans and the mammalian IAP Survivin.


  • Uren, AG
  • Beilharz, T
  • O'Connell, MJ
  • Bugg, SJ
  • van Driel, R
  • Vaux, DL
  • Lithgow, T

publication date

  • August 31, 1999