Overexpression of apoptosis-related protein, survivin, in fibroblasts from patients with systemic sclerosis

  • Mohammad Bagher Mahmoudi
  • Ehsan Farashahi Yazd
  • Farhad GharibdoostEmail author
  • Mohammad Hasan Sheikhha
  • Elham Karimizadeh
  • Ahmadreza Jamshidi
  • Mahdi MahmoudiEmail author
Original Article



Recent studies suggest that, in addition to activation and hypersecretion of matrix components, fibroblasts from patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) are resistant to apoptosis. Previous studies have shown that survivin, a member of inhibition of apoptosis (IAP) family, plays an important role in apoptosis resistance. Accordingly, we decided to study the expression of the most important members of IAP family in SSc fibroblasts, which can block apoptosis either by binding and inhibiting caspases or through caspase-independent mechanisms.


Skin biopsy samples were obtained from 19 patients with diffuse cutaneous SSc (DcSSc) and 16 healthy controls. Dermal fibroblasts were cultured and the total RNA was isolated from cells followed by cDNA synthesis. Real-time PCR was performed using SYBR Green PCR master mix and specific primers for cIAP1, cIAP2, XIAP, and Survivin mRNA quantification.


A significantly increased expression level of Survivin was observed in fibroblasts from SSc patients compared to controls (2.26-fold, P = 0.04). However, mRNA expression of cIAP1, cIAP2, and XIAP did not change significantly between cases and controls.


Our results showed that survivin is upregulated in SSc skin fibroblast which may lead to resistance to apoptosis. Further studies should be performed to reveal the role of survivin in apoptosis pathway of SSc fibroblasts.


Apoptosis Fibroblast IAP Survivin Systemic sclerosis 



Individuals contributed to the accomplishment of this study are deeply acknowledged.

Funding information

This study was financially supported by grants from the Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences (grant no. 93-3900) and Tehran University of Medical Sciences (grant no. 92-03-41-24652).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Ethic Committee of Tehran University of Medical Sciences and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Genetics, Faculty of MedicineShahid Sadoughi University of Medical SciencesYazdIran
  2. 2.Rheumatology Research CenterShariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Stem Cell Biology Research CenterYazd Reproductive Sciences Institute, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical SciencesYazdIran
  4. 4.Abortion Research CenterYazd Reproductive Sciences Institute, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical SciencesYazdIran

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