Role of deubiquitinases in human cancers: Potential targeted therapy

Keng Po Lai, Jian Chen, William Ka Fai Tse

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Deubiquitinases (DUBs) are involved in various cellular functions. They deconjugate ubiquitin (UBQ) from ubiquitylated substrates to regulate their activity and stability. Studies on the roles of deubiquitylation have been conducted in various cancers to identify the carcinogenic roles of DUBs. In this review, we evaluate the biological roles of DUBs in cancer, including proliferation, cell cycle control, apoptosis, the DNA damage response, tumor suppression, oncogenesis, and metastasis. This review mainly focuses on the regulation of different downstream effectors and pathways via biochemical regulation and posttranslational modifications. We summarize the relationship between DUBs and human cancers and discuss the potential of DUBs as therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. This review also provides basic knowledge of DUBs in the development of cancers and highlights the importance of DUBs in cancer biology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2548
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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