Survivin: anti-apoptosis protein and a prognostic marker for tumor progression and recurrence

B. Sela*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The recently discovered 16.5 kDa protein survivin was found to inhibit the two early apoptotic enzymes caspase-3 and caspase-7, thus preventing programmed cell death. Survivin may act simultaneously with the bel-2 family proteins, but has a different apoptosis inhibitory mechanism. Numerous reports have demonstrated the expression of survivin in various tumors such as neuroblastoma, melanoma, bladder carcinoma, breast and lung non-small cell tumors, esophegeal and colo-rectal carcinomas and leukemic cells. In contrast, this protein was not traced in adjacent normal tissues by either immunohistochemical staining or by PCR analysis of the expression of survivin mRNA. Importantly, there seems to be a positive correlation between survivin expression and tumor grading, as well as an indication of tumor recurrence after resection or chemotherapy. Potentially, this protein could add to the repertory of diagnostic and prognostic markers in monitoring oncologic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-107, 123
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2002


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