Role of the ubiquitin ligase Fbw7 in cancer progression

Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2012 Jun;31(1-2):75-87. doi: 10.1007/s10555-011-9330-z.


Fbw7 is a member of F-box family proteins, which constitute one subunit of Skp1, Cul1, and F-box protein (SCF) ubiquitin ligase complex. SCF(Fbw7) targets a set of well-known oncoproteins, including c-Myc, cyclin E, Notch, c-Jun, and Mcl-1, for ubiquitylation and degradation. Fbw7 provides specificity of the ubiquitylation of these substrate proteins via recognition of a consensus phosphorylated degron. Through regulation of several important proteins, Fbw7 controls diverse cellular processes, including cell-cycle progression, cell proliferation, differentiation, DNA damage response, maintenance of genomic stability, and neural cell stemness. As reduced Fbw7 expression level and loss-of-function mutations are found in a wide range of human cancers, Fbw7 is generally considered as a tumor suppressor. However, the exact mechanisms underlying Fbw7-induced tumor suppression is unclear. This review focuses on regulation network, biological functions, and genetic alteration of Fbw7 in connection with its role in cancer development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / chemistry
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • DNA Damage
  • Disease Progression
  • F-Box Proteins / chemistry
  • F-Box Proteins / genetics
  • F-Box Proteins / metabolism*
  • F-Box-WD Repeat-Containing Protein 7
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Protein Isoforms / chemistry
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / chemistry
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / genetics
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / metabolism*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • F-Box Proteins
  • F-Box-WD Repeat-Containing Protein 7
  • FBXW7 protein, human
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases