Role of survivin and its splice variants in tumorigenesis

Br J Cancer. 2005 Jan 31;92(2):212-6. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6602340.


Survivin, a unique member of the inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) protein family, is highly expressed in cancer but is undetectable in nonproliferating normal adult tissues, suggesting a potential role in tumorigenesis. Differential splicing of survivin pre-mRNA results in three new survivin variants, survivin-DeltaEx3, survivin-2B, and survivin-3B. Loss of survivin-2B expression was found in the later stage of cancer development, while survivin and survivin-DeltaEx3 are not, suggesting a differential role of them in tumour development. In this minireview, the author intends to summarise and discuss the current data relevant to the role of survivin and its splicing variants in tumorigenesis, which may facilitate further investigation in this interesting area.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics*
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Survivin


  • BIRC5 protein, human
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Survivin