The pituitary tumor-transforming gene (PTTG1) encodes a multifunctional protein (PTTG) that is overexpressed in numerous tumours, including pituitary, thyroid, breast and ovarian carcinomas. PTTG induces cellular transformation in vitro and tumourigenesis in vivo, and several mechanisms by which PTTG contributes to tumourigenesis have been investigated. Also known as the human securin, PTTG is involved in cell cycle regulation, controlling the segregation of sister chromatids during mitosis. This review outlines current information regarding PTTG structure, expression, regulation and function in the pathogenesis of neoplasia. Recent progress concerning the use of PTTG as a prognostic marker or therapeutic target will be considered. In addition, the PTTG binding factor (PBF), identified through its interaction with PTTG, has also been established as a proto-oncogene that is upregulated in several cancers. Current knowledge regarding PBF is outlined and its role both independently and alongside PTTG in endocrine and related cancers is discussed.