SKP1-cullin-1-F-box-protein (SCF) E3 ubiquitin ligase complex is responsible for the degradation of proteins in a strictly regulated manner, through which it exerts pivotal roles in regulating various key cellular processes including cell cycle and division, apoptosis, and differentiation. The substrate specificity of the SCF complex largely depends on the distinct F-box proteins, which function in either tumor promotion or suppression or in a context-dependent manner. Among the 69 F-box proteins identified in human genome, FBW7, SKP2, and β-TRCP have been extensively investigated among various types of cancer in respective of their roles in cancer development, progression, and metastasis. Moreover, several specific inhibitors have been developed to target those E3 ligases, and their efficiency in tumors has been determined. In this review, we provide a summary of the roles of SCF E3 ligases in cancer development, as well as the potential application of miRNA or specific inhibitors for cancer therapy.
Keywords: Cancer; FBW7; SCF E3 ligase; SKP2; β-TRCP.