Machado-Joseph Deubiquitinases: From Cellular Functions to Potential Therapy Targets

Front Pharmacol. 2020 Aug 26;11:1311. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2020.01311. eCollection 2020.


Ubiquitination is known as important post-translational modification in cancer-related pathways. Human deubiquitinases (DUBs), with functions of modulating the ubiquitination process, are a family with about 100 proteins. They mainly function by cutting ubiquitin chains of the substrates. The Machado-Joseph domain-containing proteases (MJDs) is one of the sub-families of DUBs, consisting of four members, namely, Ataxin-3, Ataxin-3L, JOSD1, and JOSD2. Recent studies have provided new insights into biological functions of MJDs in the progression of Machado-Joseph disease or cancer diseases. In this review, we summarized the cellular functions and regulatory mechanisms of MJDs in Machado-Joseph disease and cancer pathways. Furthermore, we summarized MJDs genetic alterations in different human cancers by exploring the public databases (cBioportal). The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive account based on our current knowledge about emerging insights into MJDs in physiology and disease, which might shed light on fundamental biological questions and promise to provide a potential target for therapeutic intervention.

Keywords: MJD disease; Machado-Joseph domain-containing proteases; cancer therapy; cellular functions; deubiquitinase.

Publication types

  • Review