USP7: Novel Drug Target in Cancer Therapy


Ubiquitin specific protease 7 (USP7) is one of the deubiquitinating enzymes (DUB) that erases ubiquitin and protects substrate protein from degradation. Full activity of USP7 requires the C-terminal Ub-like domains fold back onto the catalytic domain, allowing the remodelling of the active site to a catalytically competent state by the C-terminal peptide. Until now, numerous proteins have been identified as substrates of USP7, which play a key role in cell cycle, DNA repair, chromatin remodelling, and epigenetic regulation. Aberrant activation or overexpression of USP7 may promote oncogenes is and viral disease, making it a target for therapeutic intervention. Currently, several synthetic small molecules have been identified as inhibitors of USP7, and applied in the treatment of diverse diseases. Hence, USP7 may be a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of cancer.

John Robert
Managing Editor
European Journal of Clinical Oncology
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