Survivin is an inhibitor of apoptosis that is involved in tissue development and early reports have suggested that it may have a role in the survival of cancer cells. In January 15 Journal of Clinical Investigation, Marzia Pennati and colleagues from Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Milan, Italy show that ribozyme-mediated attenuation of survivin expression increased the susceptibility of melanoma cells to cisplatin-induced apoptosis.

Pennati et al. developed a strategy for survivin inhibition using hammerhead ribozymes that cut the survivin mRNA. They found that such ribozymes in combination with cisplatin induced significant apoptosis into the human metastatic melanoma cell line JR8. The control tumor cells overexpressed survivin and were resistant to cisplatin treatment (J Clin Invest 2002, 109:285-286).

These results "extend and corroborate earlier evidence indicating that attenuating survivin expression renders these [melanoma] cells more susceptible to cisplatin-induced apoptosis. These...

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