We previously demonstrated that the anti-apoptosis protein, survivin, plays a protective role against alcohol-induced gastric injury. Since the endothelium is a primary target of alcohol-induced gastric damage, we investigated whether survivin expression is a key factor in the greater susceptibility of gastric endothelial vs. epithelial cells to alcohol-induced injury. Here, we demonstrate that rat gastric epithelial cells (RGM1 cells, an epithelial cell line derived from normal rat gastric mucosa) expressed 7.5-fold greater survivin protein levels vs. rat gastric endothelial cells. Survivin expression correlated with resistance of gastric epithelial vs. endothelial cells to both alcohol-induced cell damage and alcohol-induced apoptosis. Suppression of survivin protein expression levels using siRNA rendered the gastric epithelial cells as susceptible to both alcohol-induced cell damage and apoptosis as the gastric endothelial cells. Conversely, forced overexpression of survivin by transient transfection rendered gastric endothelial cells as resistant to both alcohol-induced cell damage and apoptosis as mock-transfected gastric epithelial cells. Moreover, overexpression of a threonine-34 to glutamate phosphorylation mimic mutant survivin construct rendered gastric endothelial cells significantly more resistant to alcohol-induced damage and apoptosis vs. mock-transfected gastric epithelial cells. These findings indicate that disparate survivin expression levels can explain the discrepancy between gastric epithelial and endothelial cell susceptibility to alcohol-induced injury; and, that a negative charge at amino acid residue 34 on survivin, such as that which naturally occurs by phosphorylation of threonine-34, enhances its property in conferring gastric mucosal protection.