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Vet Pathol. 2004 Nov;41(6):599-607.

Survivin: a bifunctional inhibitor of apoptosis protein.

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1
Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA. mjohnson@vet.uga.edu

Abstract

Survivin is a recently discovered protein belonging to the inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) gene family. IAP molecules are characterized by both the presence of a zinc-binding fold termed the baculoviral IAP repeat and the ability to suppress apoptosis. In addition to inhibiting apoptosis, survivin is essential for proper cell division. Survivin is expressed during embryonal development but is absent in most normal, terminally differentiated tissues. Survivin is also upregulated in a variety of human cancers, and its expression in tumors is associated with a more aggressive phenotype, shorter survival times, and a decreased response to chemotherapy. The exact mechanism behind the ability of survivin to inhibit apoptosis is still unclear. Furthermore, it is not known why this protein is upregulated in cancer. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the current knowledge of survivin, including its role in cell division and its expression in normal and neoplastic tissues. Although much of the current research in this field is focused on human medicine, this area also has potential significance for veterinary species.

PMID:
15557069
DOI:
10.1354/vp.41-6-599
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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