Table of Contents
ISRN Oncology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 928120, 5 pages
Research Article

The Opposing Roles of Cellular Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins in Cancer

Breast Cancer Research Lab, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, 451 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 8M5

Received 17 June 2012; Accepted 19 July 2012

Academic Editors: A. M. Garcia-Lora and F. Kuhnel

Copyright © 2012 R. Lau and M. A. C. Pratt. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cellular inhibitors of apoptosis proteins 1 and 2 (cIAP1/2) are members of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) family that has been implicated in the pathology of human cancers due to their overexpression and function as blockers of cell death in various cancers. As a result, small molecule IAP antagonists have been developed and are currently under clinical evaluation for potential therapeutic use. In contrast, recent evidence has indicated a tumour-suppressing role for the cIAPs. Mutations in or loss of cIAPs have been identified as molecular lesions that contribute to constitutive activation of NF-κB in hematopoietic malignancies. These studies reveal a context-dependent role for the cIAPs wherein both their overexpression and loss may contribute to tumourigenesis.