Encyclopedia of Cancer

2011 Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_5607



As a structurally unique member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) family, survivin is highly expressed in fetal tissues, but not in most adult tissues. Most human cancers return to the fetal pattern of survivin overexpression, thus suggesting a pivotal role of survivin for tumor cell survival.


The human survivin gene is located on chromosome 17 (band q25) and encompasses 14.796 base pairs that comprise six exons. The coding strand is preceded by a TATA-less promoter and a GC-rich region corresponding to a CpG island. The coding sequence of survivin is largely complementary to the coding strand of the effector cell protease receptor-1 (EPR-1) gene. This suggests that survivin and EPR-1 transcripts originate from duplicated genes that were arranged in opposite orientations. The human survivin gene encodes five different splice variants, which may contribute to...
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PathologyHeinrich Heine UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany