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Controlling cell proliferation is one of the hallmarks of cancer. A number of critical checkpoints ascertain progression through the different stages of the cell cycle, which can be aborted when perturbed, for instance by errors in DNA replication and repair. These molecular checkpoints are regulated by a number of proteins that need to be present at the right time and quantity. The ubiquitin system has emerged as a central player controlling the fate and function of such molecules such as cyclins, oncogenes and components of the DNA repair machinery. In particular, proteases that cleave ubiquitin chains, referred to as deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs), have attracted recent attention due to their accessibility to modulation by small molecules. In this review, we describe recent evidence of the critical role of DUBs in aspects of cell cycle checkpoint control, associated DNA repair mechanisms and regulation of transcription, representing pathways altered in cancer. Therefore, DUBs involved in these processes emerge as potentially critical targets for the treatment of not only hematological, but potentially also solid tumors.

Original publication

DOI

10.3389/fgene.2016.00133

Type

Journal article

Journal

Front Genet

Publication Date

2016

Volume

7

Keywords

DNA damage response, cell cycle checkpoints, deubiquitylating enzyme, epigenetics, multiple myeloma, small molecule inhibitors, transcription, ubiquitin