CAAX proteins are widely involved in global cellular functions such as proliferation, differentiation, and carcinogenesis. As an important modulator of biological activity, signal transduction via protein prenylation is a crucial step for most CAAX protein functions, particularly for anchoring these CAAX proteins to cellular membrane system. With a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction and intracellular messaging in this process, CAAX protein prenylation may be of particular importance for elucidating the biologic events in carcinogenesis and provide potential approaches of selectively blocking the downstream signal cascade that allows carcinogenesis. Here, we mainly focus on the prenylation process of the clinically important CAAX box proteins, and their potential as a biomarker or preventive/therapeutic target in carcinogenesis.
Keywords: CAAX box proteins; biomarkers; carcinogenesis; prenylation; signal transduction.