The Fbw7 and Beta-TRCP E3 ubiquitin ligases and their roles in tumorigenesis

Alan W. Lau, Hidefumi Fukushima, Wenyi Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


The Ubiquitin Proteasome System (UPS) is a major regulator of protein abundance in the cell. The UPS influences the functions of multiple biological processes by targeting key regulators for destruction. E3 ubiquitin ligases are a vital component of the UPS machinery, working with E1 and E2 enzymes to bind substrates and facilitate the transfer of ubiquitin molecules onto the target protein. This polyubiquitination, in turn, directs the modified proteins for proteolysis by the 26S proteasome. As the UPS regulates the degradation of multiple oncogenes and tumor suppressors, the dysregulation of this pathway is known to promote various diseases including cancer. While E1 and E2 enzymes have only been minimally linked to cancer development, burgeoning amounts of evidence have implicated loss or gain of E3 function as a key factor in cancer initiation and progression. This review will examine the literature on two SCF-type E3 ligases, SCFFbw7 and SCFbeta-TRCP. In particular, we will highlight novel substrates recently identified for these two E3 ligases, and further discuss how UPS regulation of these targets may promote carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2197-2212
Number of pages16
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Beta-TRCP
  • Cancer
  • E3-ligase
  • Fbw7
  • Oncogene
  • Phosphorylation
  • Review
  • SCF
  • Tumor suppressor
  • Ubiquitination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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