Priority Research Papers:

The deubiquitinase USP54 is overexpressed in colorectal cancer stem cells and promotes intestinal tumorigenesis

Julia M. Fraile, Diana Campos-Iglesias, Francisco Rodríguez, Yaiza Español and José M.P. Freije _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:74427-74434. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12769

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Julia M. Fraile1, Diana Campos-Iglesias1, Francisco Rodríguez1, Yaiza Español1 and José M.P. Freije1

1 Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Medicina, Instituto Universitario de Oncología, Universidad de Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain

Correspondence to:

José M.P. Freije, email:

Keywords: degradome, CSCs, ubiquitin-specific proteases, gene targeting

Received: August 04, 2016 Accepted: October 13, 2016 Published: October 19, 2016


Ubiquitin-Specific Proteases (USPs) are deubiquitinating enzymes frequently deregulated in human malignancies. Here, we show that USP54 is overexpressed in intestinal stem cells and demonstrate that its downregulation in colorectal carcinoma cells impedes tumorigenesis. We have generated mutant mice deficient for this deubiquitinase, which are viable and fertile, and protected against chemically-induced colorectal carcinoma. Furthermore, we show that USP54 is upregulated in human colon cancer and associates with poor prognosis. In agreement with these results, Usp54 downregulation in mouse melanoma cells inhibits lung metastasis formation. Collectively, this work has uncovered the pro-tumorigenic properties of USP54, highlighting the importance of deubiquitinating enzymes as promising targets for the development of specific anti-cancer therapies.

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