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The most thoroughly characterized mammalian IAP is XIAP/BIRC4, which can inhibit caspases 9, 3 and 7, but may also regulate apoptosis through interactions with other proteins such as Smac/DIABLO, HtrA2/Omi, XAF1, TAK1, cIAP1, and cIAP2.High throughput sequencing of the mouse genome revealed the existence of a gene resembling Xiap/Birc4 on mouse chromosome 7. To confirm the existence of this gene, and to determine its functional significance, we performed Southern and Northern blot analysis. This showed the presence of the Xiap-like gene in both wild-type and Xiap gene knock-out mice, but the corresponding mRNA was not detected in any tissues examined by Northern blot. Analysis of the gene sequence in all three possible reading frames predicts that expression of this gene would not give rise to a full-length protein, but only non-functional truncated polypeptides. Because its nucleotide sequence is 92% identical to Xiap, but it has no introns corresponding to those of Xiap, we conclude that Xiap-ps1 is a pseudogene generated by retro-transposition of a spliced Xiap message to chromosome 7.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Chromosome Mapping, Chromosomes, Fibroblasts, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Models, Genetic, Molecular Sequence Data, Peptides, Pseudogenes, Retroelements, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, X-Linked Inhibitor of Apoptosis Protein