Survivin encodes a structurally unique inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP). Survivin expression is turned off during fetal development and is not found in non-neoplastic adult human tissues. Survivin becomes abundantly re-expressed in transformed cells and in all of the most common cancers of lung, colon, pancreas, breast and prostate in vivo. Survivin appears to be situated at the crossroads of cell death and cell division, governing a checkpoint involved in cytokinesis while also suppressing apoptosis.
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