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The Role of the Complex USP1/WDR48 in Differentiation and Proliferation Processes in Cancer Stem Cells

[ Vol. 12 , Issue. 5 ]


Jussara Maria Goncalves, Mabel Mariela Rodriguez Cordeiro* and Elena Riet Correa Rivero   Pages 416 - 422 ( 7 )


Background: Recently, some studies identified the Basic-Helix-Loop-Helix (bHLH) transcription factor as a significant regulator for the evolution of neoplasms. The binding between bHLH proteins and DNA is restricted by heterodimerization with Inhibitors of DNA binding (ID). IDs prevent cellular differentiation, promote growth and sustain tumor development. The wide presence of stem cells in cancers suggests that genes ID are essential to cancer stem cells (CSC) progress. The enzyme Ubiquitin-specific protease 1 (USP1) is reported to deubiquitinate and stabilize IDs. Considering the action of the proteins ID, USP1 contributes to prevent differentiation mediated by bHLH and, consequently, keep CSC original characteristics. USP1 has its activity potentiated when bound to protein WD repeat-containing protein (WDR48).

Objective: To identify the influence of the complex USP1/WDR48 during the CSC tumorigenesis process, and whether this complex is a possible therapeutic target. Methods: A literature search regarding the role of the complex USP1/WDR48 in inhibiting differentiation and increasing proliferation of CSC was performed, and possible selective molecule inhibitors of these deubiquitinase proteins were investigated.

Results: There is evidence that USP1/WDR48 complex promotes stem cell conservation and regulation of DNA damage repair. For this reason, inhibitors as Pimozide, GW7647, C527, SJB2-043, ML323 have been studied to inhibit USPs in cases of treatment intervention.

Conclusion: It is consolidated in the literature the role of USP1/WDR48 during tumorigenesis. However, these studies are not enough to completely clarify the process; but certainly, the researchers are converging towards a promising direction to provide a new treatment option for cancer.


Cancer, neoplasms, USP1 protein, WDR48 protein, stem cell, cancer stem cell, ubiquitin, deubiquitinase.


Federal University of Santa Catarina, Postgraduate Program in Dentistry, Reitor Joao David Ferreira Lima Campus, Zip Code 88040-900, Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Department of Morphological Sciences, Reitor Joao David Ferreira Lima Campus, Zip Code 88040-900, Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Department of Pathology, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Reitor Joao David Ferreira Lima Campus, Zip Code 88040-900, Florianopolis, Santa Catarina

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