Knockdown of survivin expression by small interfering RNA induces apoptosis in human breast carcinoma cell line MCF-7

Ai Zheng. 2005 Mar;24(3):268-72.


Background & objective: survivin, a member of inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) gene family, expresses in various human cancer tissues, and may facilitate tumor cell evasion from apoptosis, and promote aberrant mitotic progression. This study was to investigate cell proliferation and apoptosis status of human breast carcinoma cell line MCF-7 after knockdown of survivin.

Methods: Small interfering RNA was transfected into MCF-7 cells to inhibit expression of survivin. mRNA and protein levels of survivin were detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blot. Proliferation inhibition rate of MCF-7 cells was analyzed by MTT assay. Cell apoptosis was assayed by flow cytometry (FCM).

Results: The expression of survivin in siRNA-transfected group decreased by 64% in comparison to untransfected group. After treatment of different concentrations of siRNA, proliferation inhibition rate and apoptosis rate of MCF-7 cells were increased. The highest proliferation inhibition rate was 60.9%, and the highest apoptosis rate was 29.0% after treatment of 200 nmol/L of siRNA.

Conclusion: survivin siRNA might be a useful therapeutic agent for the treatment of breast carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Down-Regulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • RNA Interference*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Small Interfering*
  • Survivin
  • Transfection


  • BIRC5 protein, human
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Survivin