Survivin as a Target for Anti-cancer Phytochemicals According to the Molecular Docking Analysis

  • Kobra Foroughi
  • Sarvin Jahanbani
  • Simin Nazarnezhad
  • Hossein Khastar
  • Moslem JafarisaniEmail author
  • Mersedeh TashakoriEmail author
  • Seyedeh Sareh Kazemi


Survivin is a unique member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein family. Research has approved Survivin’s ability to interact with Smac/DIABLO, suggesting that Survivin may suppress activation of caspases indirectly. On the other hand, research has demonstrated that many drugs for cancer therapy are unsuccessful and disappointing in advanced stages. Therefore, it is necessary to find new drugs with the highest anti-cancer properties and lowest side effects. We investigated the interaction of some phytochemicals with BIR domain of Survivin. In this study, the 3D structures of some phytochemicals, including Berberine, Carvacrol, Crocetin, Crocin, Curcumin, Picrocrocin, Piperine, and Thymol, were harnessed from Human Metabolome Database, which has reported some evidence about these phytochemicals’ anti-cancer effect via the apoptosis induction with Survivin. Then, these structures were prepared for molecular docking analysis by Autodock Vina software. Ultimately, the binding energies between docked Survivin and the above mentioned phytochemicals were calculated and their interactions were predicted. Our results indicated that all phytochemicals can interact with Survivin molecule in active site of Smac/DIABLO and the best minimum binding energies belong to Piperine and Picrocrocin. It is concluded that, out of the studied compounds, Piperine and Picrocrocin could act as potential inhibitors of Survivin.

Graphic Abstract


Survivin Smac/DIABLO Inhibitors Autodock Vina Phytochemicals Berberine Piperine 



This study was supported by Grant No 9775 from Shahroud University of Medical Sciences.


This study was funded by Shahroud University of Medical Sciences (Grant No 9775).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors. However, we have ethical cod approve IR.SHMU.REC.1397.112 by ethical committee of SHMU.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Student Research Committee, School of MedicineShahroud University of Medical SciencesShahroudIran
  2. 2.Cancer Prevention Research CenterShahroud University of Medical SciencesShahroudIran
  3. 3.Department of BiologyIslamic Azad University, Science and Research BranchTehranIran
  4. 4.Department of BiochemistryDamghan Branch of Islamic Azad UniversityDamghanIran

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