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Survivin, cancer networks and pathway-directed drug discovery


Although there is no shortage of potential targets for cancer therapeutics, we know of only a handful of molecules that are differentially expressed in cancer and intersect multiple pathways required for tumour maintenance. Survivin embodies these properties, and orchestrates integrated cellular networks that are essential for tumour cell proliferation and viability. Pursuing the nodal functions of survivin in cancer might lead to the development of global pathway inhibitors with unique therapeutic potential.

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Figure 1: Connectivity map of the survivin networks at cell division.
Figure 2: Connectivity map of the survivin networks at cell death.
Figure 3: Connectivity links between the survivin cell division and cell death networks.


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I apologize to all the colleagues whose work on survivin could not be cited owing to space constraints. I thank C. W. Lee for discussion and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grants.

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Altieri, D. Survivin, cancer networks and pathway-directed drug discovery. Nat Rev Cancer 8, 61–70 (2008).

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