Survivin, a novel member of inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) protein family, is aberrantly expressed in cancer but undetectable in normal, differentiated adult tissues. Current studies suggest that survivin is implicated in both control of apoptosis and regulation of cell division. However, due to some inconsistent observations on survivin subcellular localization, there is debate about survivin's function in regulating apoptosis, cell division, or both. This review will discuss concepts, experimental methods, and interesting results that unify the different notions about survivin localization and function or point out gaps of knowledge about controversial issues. The author also intends to review various aspects of survivin studies, which were not emphasized or sufficiently discussed in previous reviews on survivin, and update recent developments that may reveal new applications of disease-oriented therapeutics in the coming years.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.