Smac/DIABLO is a recently identified protein released from mitochondria in response to apoptotic stimuli and promotes apoptosis by antagonizing inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs). In this study, we observed depressed Smac/DIABLO and increased XIAP expression in ovarian epithelial tissues ordered by normal, benign and malignant epithelia. In epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), the expression of Smac/DIABLO decreased with the malignancy. Smac/DIABLO expression showed no correlation with TRAIL sensitivity, while lower Smac/DIABLO expression and decreased release of Smac/DIABLO from mitochondria upon apoptosis stimuli were observed in paclitaxel-resistant A2780/pac cells as compared to the sensitive controls. Ectopic Smac/DIABLO alone inhibited cell growth, arrested cells in G0/G1 phase, and sensitized drug-resistant EOC cells to TRAIL or paclitaxel-induced apoptosis. Increased apoptosis was associated with the down-regulation of XIAP, FLIP, and up-regulation of Smac/DIABLO, cytochrome c, p53, along with increased activity of caspase-3. Thus, over-expression of Smac/DIABLO is a promising strategy for drug-resistant ovarian cancer treatment.