Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Br J Cancer. 2009 Apr 7;100(7):1073-86. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604978. Epub 2009 Mar 17.

Extracellular, cell-permeable survivin inhibits apoptosis while promoting proliferative and metastatic potential.

Author information

  • 1Division of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Department of Basic Sciences, Center for Health Disparities Research and Molecular Medicine, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA.


The tumour microenvironment is believed to be involved in development, growth, metastasis, and therapy resistance of many cancers. Here we show survivin, a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) family, implicated in apoptosis inhibition and the regulation of mitosis in cancer cells, exists in a novel extracellular pool in tumour cells. Furthermore, we have constructed stable cell lines that provide the extracellular pool with either wild-type survivin (Surv-WT) or the previously described dominant-negative mutant survivin (Surv-T34A), which has proven pro-apoptotic effects in cancer cells but not in normal proliferating cells. Cancer cells grown in conditioned medium (CM) taken from Surv-WT cells absorbed survivin and experienced enhanced protection against genotoxic stresses. These cells also exhibited an increased replicative and metastatic potential, suggesting that survivin in the tumour microenvironment may be directly associated with malignant progression, further supporting survivin's function in tumourigenesis. Alternatively, cancer cells grown in CM taken from the Surv-T34A cells began to apoptose through a caspase-2- and caspase-9-dependent pathway that was further enhanced by the addition of other chemo- and radiotherapeutic modalities. Together our findings suggest a novel microenvironmental function for survivin in the control of cancer aggressiveness and spread, and should result in the genesis of additional cancer treatment modalities.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk