An updated review of smac mimetics, lcl161, birinapant, and gdc-0152 in cancer treatment

Yung Chieh Chang, Chun Hei Antonio Cheung

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) are suggested as therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. Smac/DIABLO is a natural IAP antagonist in cells; therefore, Smac mimetics have been developed for cancer treatment in the past decade. In this article, we review the anti-cancer potency and novel molecular targets of LCL161, birinapant, and GDC-0152. Preclinical studies demonstrated that Smac mimetics not only induce apoptosis but also arrest cell cycle, induce necroptosis, and induce immune storm in vitro and in vivo. The safety and tolerance of Smac mimetics are evaluated in phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials. In addition, the combination of Smac mimetics and chemotherapeutic compounds was reported to improve anti-cancer effects. Interestingly, the novel anti-cancer molecular mechanism of action of Smac mimetics was reported in recent studies, suggesting that many unknown functions of Smac mimetics still need to be revealed. Exploring these currently unknown signaling pathways is important to provide hints for the modification and combination therapy of further compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number335
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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