Targeting survivin for therapeutic discovery: past, present, and future promises

Robert C. Peery, Jing Yuan Liu, Jian Ting Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Survivin, the smallest member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) family, is overexpressed in cells of almost all cancers but not in most normal tissues in adults. Survivin expression is required for cancer cell survival and knocking down its expression or inhibiting its function using molecular approaches results in spontaneous apoptosis. Thus, survivin is an attractive and perhaps ideal target for cancer drug discovery. However, a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug targeting survivin has yet to emerge. In this Foundation Review, we examine and evaluate various strategies that have been used to target survivin and the stages of each survivin inhibitor to help understand this lack of success. We also provide future perspectives moving forward in targeting survivin for drug discovery. This review provides a comprehensive analysis of drug discovery targeting survivin and evaluates the advantages and/or disadvantages of survivin inhibitor as well as providing insights into targeting survivin for drug discovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1466-1477
Number of pages12
JournalDrug Discovery Today
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

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