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J Biol Chem. 2003 Jun 20;278(25):23130-40. Epub 2003 Mar 26.

Direct interaction between survivin and Smac/DIABLO is essential for the anti-apoptotic activity of survivin during taxol-induced apoptosis.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Key Laboratory of Structural Biology, School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230027, People's Republic of China.


Survivin is a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) family that has been implicated in both apoptosis inhibition and cell cycle control. However, its inhibitory mechanism and subcellular localization remain controversial. In this report, we provided evidence for the first time that Survivin physically interacts with Smac/DIABLO both in vitro and in vivo. A point mutation (D71R) in the baculovirus IAP repeat motif and a C-terminal deletion mutant (Surv-BIR) of Survivin fail to bind to Smac/DIABLO and abrogate its ability to inhibit apoptosis. The N-terminal of mature Smac/DIABLO is absolutely required for Survivin.Smac complex formation. Subcellular distributions of Survivin and Smac/DIABLO showed that they co-localized within the cytosol during interphase. In addition, Survivin was found to be incapable of binding to caspase. We also identified that the co-presence of Smac/DIABLO and XIAP was required for Survivin to inhibit caspase cleavage in a cell-free system. In conclusion, our results provide the first evidence that the interaction between Smac/DIABLO and Survivin is an essential step underling the inhibition of apoptosis induced by Taxol.

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