FBXW7: a critical tumor suppressor of human cancers

Mol Cancer. 2018 Aug 7;17(1):115. doi: 10.1186/s12943-018-0857-2.


The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is involved in multiple aspects of cellular processes, such as cell cycle progression, cellular differentiation, and survival (Davis RJ et al., Cancer Cell 26:455-64, 2014; Skaar JR et al., Nat Rev Drug Discov 13:889-903, 2014; Nakayama KI and Nakayama K, Nat Rev Cancer 6:369-81, 2006). F-box and WD repeat domain containing 7 (FBXW7), also known as Sel10, hCDC4 or hAgo, is a member of the F-box protein family, which functions as the substrate recognition component of the SCF E3 ubiquitin ligase. FBXW7 is a critical tumor suppressor and one of the most commonly deregulated ubiquitin-proteasome system proteins in human cancer. FBXW7 controls proteasome-mediated degradation of oncoproteins such as cyclin E, c-Myc, Mcl-1, mTOR, Jun, Notch and AURKA. Consistent with the tumor suppressor role of FBXW7, it is located at chromosome 4q32, a genomic region deleted in more than 30% of all human cancers (Spruck CH et al., Cancer Res 62:4535-9, 2002). Genetic profiles of human cancers based on high-throughput sequencing have revealed that FBXW7 is frequently mutated in human cancers. In addition to genetic mutations, other mechanisms involving microRNA, long non-coding RNA, and specific oncogenic signaling pathways can inactivate FBXW7 functions in cancer cells. In the following sections, we will discuss the regulation of FBXW7, its role in oncogenesis, and the clinical implications and prognostic value of loss of function of FBXW7 in human cancers.

Keywords: C-myc; CDC4; Cancer; Cyclin E; FBXW7; HTLV; Jun; Notch; mTOR; mcl-1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • F-Box-WD Repeat-Containing Protein 7 / genetics*
  • F-Box-WD Repeat-Containing Protein 7 / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • Mutation*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prognosis
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / metabolism
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / genetics
  • Signal Transduction


  • F-Box-WD Repeat-Containing Protein 7
  • FBXW7 protein, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex