Inhibitor of Apoptosis (IAP) proteins in hematological malignancies: molecular mechanisms and therapeutic opportunities

Leukemia. 2014 Jul;28(7):1414-22. doi: 10.1038/leu.2014.56. Epub 2014 Feb 3.


Inhibitor of Apoptosis (IAP) proteins exert essential functions during tumorigenesis as well as treatment resistance by simultaneously blocking cell death pathways and promoting cell survival. As IAP proteins are typically aberrantly expressed in human cancers including hematological malignancies, they represent in principle promising targets for therapeutic interventions. There are currently exciting opportunities to rationally exploit the therapeutic targeting of IAP proteins for the treatment of leukemia and lymphoma. Further insights into the signaling pathways that are under the control of IAP proteins and into the specific IAP protein-dependent vulnerabilities of hematological neoplasms are expected to pave the avenue to novel treatment strategies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins / genetics*
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Signal Transduction


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • DIABLO protein, human
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Mitochondrial Proteins