PI3K activation is commonly observed in many human cancer cells. Survivin expression is elevated in cancer cells, and induced by some growth factors through PI3K activation. However, it is not clear whether PI3K activation is sufficient to induce survivin expression. To investigate the role of PI3K pathway in the regulation of survivin, we expressed an active form of PI3K, v-P3k in chicken embryonic fibroblast cells (CEF), and found that overexpression of PI3K-induced survivin mRNA expression. Forced expression of wild-type but not mutant tumor suppressor PTEN in CEF decreased survivin mRNA levels. PI3K regulates survivin expression through Akt activation. To further investigate downstream target of PI3K and Akt in regulating the expression of survivin mRNA, we found that PI3K and Akt-induced p70S6K1 activation and that overexpression of p70S6K1 alone was sufficient to induce survivin expression. The treatment of CEF cells by rapamycin decreased the survivin mRNA expression. This result demonstrated that p70S6K1 is an important target downstream of PI3K and Akt in regulating suvivin mRNA expression. The knockdown of survivin mRNA expression by its specific siRNA induced apoptosis of cancer cells when the cells were treated with LY294002 or taxol. Taken together, these results demonstrated that PI3K/Akt/p70S6K1 pathway is essential for regulating survivin mRNA expression.