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J Biotechnol. 2013 Oct 20;168(2):229-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2013.08.028. Epub 2013 Aug 29.

Withanone as an inhibitor of survivin: a potential drug candidate for cancer therapy.

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Department of Biotechnology, Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University, Amravati, India.


Survivin, the smallest inhibitor of apoptosis protein, which has been reported to be highly expressed in almost all known cancers, plays a dual role in survival as well as the proliferation of cancer cells. It inhibits apoptosis by inhibiting caspases as well as facilitating mitosis by becoming a part of chromosomal passenger complex through its BIR5 domain. Docking studies carried out with herbal ligand withanone derived from roots of Withania somnifera have shown strong binding affinity of -19.1088 kJ/mol with BIR5 domain of survivin and in turn interferes with inhibitory action against caspases and may lead to apoptosis. Binding of withanone at BIR5 domain of survivin may also interfere with chromosomal passenger complex and lead to halt the mitotic process within the cancer cell. Docking studies support various experimental outcomes and suggest withanone as a potential candidate molecule in cancer therapy.


Apoptosis; Cancer; Inhibitor of apoptosis; Survivin; Withania somnifera; Withanone

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