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J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2008 Sep 26;27:48. doi: 10.1186/1756-9966-27-48.

Role of Smac/DIABLO in cancer progression.

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Functional Cancer Genomics Laboratory, National Institute of Genomic Medicine, Periferico Sur 4124, Torre Zafiro II 5to piso, Col, Ex-Rancho de Anzaldo, Alvaro Obregon 01900, Mexico City, México.


Second mitochondria-derived activator of caspase/direct inhibitor of apoptosis-binding protein with low pI (Smac/DIABLO) is a proapoptogenic mitochondrial protein that is released to the cytosol in response to diverse apoptotic stimuli, including commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs. In the cytosol, Smac/DIABLO interacts and antagonizes inhibitors of apoptosis proteins (IAPs), thus allowing the activation of caspases and apoptosis. This activity has prompted the synthesis of peptidomimetics that could potentially be used in cancer therapy. For these reasons, several authors have analyzed the expression levels of Smac/DIABLO in samples of patients from different tumors. Although dissimilar results have been found, a tissue-specific role of this protein emerges from the data. The objective of this review is to present the current knowledge of the Smac/DIABLO role in cancer and its possible use as a marker or therapeutic target for drug design.

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