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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Nix and Nip3 form a subfamily of pro-apoptotic mitochondrial proteins.

We have identified Nix, a homolog of the E1B 19K/Bcl-2 binding and pro-apoptotic protein Nip3. Human and murine Nix have a 56 and 53% amino acid identity to human and murine Nip3, respectively. The carboxyl terminus of Nix, including a transmembrane domain, is highly homologous to Nip3 but it bears a longer and distinct asparagine/ proline-rich N terminus. Human Nip3 maps to chromosome 14q11.2-q12, whereas Nix/BNip3L was found on 8q21. Nix encodes a 23. 8-kDa protein but it is expressed as a 48-kDa protein, suggesting that it homodimerizes similarly to Nip3. Following transfection, Nix protein undergoes progressive proteolysis to an 11-kDa C-terminal fragment, which is blocked by the proteasome inhibitor lactacystin. Nix colocalizes with the mitochondrial matrix protein HSP60, and removal of the putative transmembrane domain ( TM) results in general cytoplasmic and nuclear expression. When transiently expressed, Nix and Nip3 but not TM deletion mutants rapidly activate apoptosis. Nix can overcome the suppressers Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL, although high levels of Bcl-XL expression will inhibit apoptosis. We propose that Nix and Nip3 form a new subfamily of pro-apoptotic mitochondrial proteins.[1]


  1. Nix and Nip3 form a subfamily of pro-apoptotic mitochondrial proteins. Chen, G., Cizeau, J., Vande Velde, C., Park, J.H., Bozek, G., Bolton, J., Shi, L., Dubik, D., Greenberg, A. J. Biol. Chem. (1999) [Pubmed]
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