Using gene-transduced pancreatic cancer cells, we examined whether survivin expression is directly involved in regulation of radiosensitivity. Ordinarily radiosensitive MIAPaCa-2 cells transduced with wild-type survivin gene (MS cells) proliferated more rapidly than cells transduced with control vector. MS cells were significantly less radiosensitive than control vector-transduced cells. Radiation-induced activity of caspase-3, but not caspase-7, was significantly inhibited in MS cells. On the other hand, transduction of a dominant-negative mutant survivin gene into radioresistant PANC-1 cells augmented radiosensitivity. Further, the radiation-induced increase in caspase-3 activity was enhanced, indicating that survivin function was truly inhibited. These results indicate that survivin expression directly down-regulates radiosensitivity.