Liu S, de Boeck M, van Dam H, Ten Dijke P
Int. J. Biochem. Cell Biol. 76 (-) 135-145 [2016-07-00; online 2016-05-04]
The transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) pathway regulates diverse cellular processes. It signals via serine/threonine kinase receptors and intracellular Smad and non-Smad effector proteins. In cancer cells, aberrant TGF-β signalling can lead to loss of growth inhibition and an increase in invasion, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis. Therapeutic targeting of the pro-oncogenic TGF-β responses is currently being explored as a potential therapy against certain invasive and metastatic cancer types. The ubiquitin post-translational regulation system is emerging as a key regulatory mechanism for the control of TGF-β pathway components. In this review, we focus on the role of deubiquitinases (DUBs), which counteract the activity of E3 ubiquitin ligases. We will discuss the mechanisms by which specific DUBs control Smad and non-Smad TGF-β signalling routes, and how perturbation of the expression and function of DUBs contributes to misregulation of TGF-β signalling in cancer.