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Role of the apoptotic and mitotic regulator survivin in melanoma.

Anticancer research

Apoptosis, pathology, Skin Neoplasms, physiology, Mitosis, Melanoma, Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins, Humans, Cell Movement

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      Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Melanoma develops in response to genetic and environmental pressures which lead to oncogenic transformation of normal human melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells in the body. The majority of melanoma-associated deaths are due to metastases, highlighting the importance of understanding the molecular mechanisms driving melanoma development and progression. This review focuses on survivin, and its involvement in the melanoma biology. Since its identification in the late 1990s, a vast body of work has been generated, demonstrating the role of survivin in various malignancies. This review discusses the established mitotic and cytoprotective properties of survivin, and its potential role in melanoma development and progression. A newly recognized functional property of survivin is also discussed, namely enhancement of cellular motility, which may underlie its role in promoting melanoma metastasis. Finally, various therapeutic strategies targeting survivin in melanoma are reviewed.

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