Ras-GTPase-activating protein (SH3 domain)-binding proteins (G3BPs, also known as Rasputin) are a family of RNA binding proteins that regulate gene expression in response to environmental stresses by controlling mRNA stability and translation. G3BPs appear to facilitate this activity through their role in stress granules for which they are considered a core component, however, it should be noted that not all stress granules contain G3BPs and this appears to be contextual depending on the environmental stress and the cell type. Although the role of G3BPs in stress granules appears to be one of its major roles, data also strongly suggests that they interact with mRNAs outside of stress granules to regulate gene expression. G3BPs have been implicated in several diseases including cancer progression, invasion, and metastasis as well as virus survival. There is now a body of evidence that suggests targeting of G3BPs could be explored as a form of cancer therapeutic. This review discusses the important discoveries and advancements made in the field of G3BPs biology over the last two decades including their roles in RNA stability, translational control of cellular transcripts, stress granule formation, cancer progression and its interactions with viruses during infection. An emerging theme for G3BPs is their ability to regulate gene expression in response to environmental stimuli, disease progression and virus infection making it an intriguing target for disease therapies.
Keywords: Cancer biomarker; G3BP; Rasputin; Stress granules; Translational regulation; Viral infection.
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