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Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis
SJR: 0.946 SNIP: 0.503 CiteScore™: 2

ISSN Print: 0893-9675
ISSN Online: 2162-6448

Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevOncog.2016017032
pages 185-202

The IAP Protein Family, SMAC Mimetics and Cancer Treatment

Alex Philchenkov
Department of Oncohematology, R.E. Kavetsky Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology and Radiobiology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
Koh Miura
Department of Surgery, Miyagi Cancer Center, Natori, Miyagi, Japan


Since the acquired resistance of cells to apoptosis is one of the major hallmarks of cancer, the endogenous inhibitors of apoptosis can be regarded as promising targets in the design of anticancer therapeutics. In addition to their antiapoptotic activity, inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) are able to regulate numerous other cell functions, including proliferation, differentiation, and migration, as well as proinflammatory and immune responses. Study of the IAP family as target molecules in targeted therapies has recently focused on SMAC mimetics as synthetic IAP antagonists that have been under development as promising therapeutics. To overview the background of IAP proteins and to focus on the development of SMAC mimetics, the present review first looks at the mechanisms of IAP proteins' antiapoptotic activities and those for controlling those activities; then the SMAC mimetics, including birinapant, LCL161, and DEBIO1143/AT-406, and their clinical trials are introduced. To further clarify the processes to exert the efficacies of SMAC mimetics, it is necessary to determine therapeutic biomarkers that predict and assess them, which may include caspases and factors in the TNFα pathway.