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Pharmacological or TRIB3-Mediated Suppression of ATF4 Transcriptional Activity Promotes Hepatoma Cell Resistance to Proteasome Inhibitor Bortezomib

The Critical Role of TRIB2 in Cancer and Therapy Resistance

Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas “Alberto Sols” (CSIC-UAM), Arturo Duperier 4, 28029 Madrid, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: David Wong
Cancers 2021, 13(11), 2701;
Received: 2 May 2021 / Revised: 24 May 2021 / Accepted: 27 May 2021 / Published: 30 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pseudokinases, Tribbles Proteins and Cancer)
The Tribbles proteins are members of CAMK Ser/Thr protein kinase family. They are evolutionary conserved pseudokinases found in most tissues of eukaryotic organisms. This ubiquitously expressed protein family is characterized by containing a catalytically deficient kinase domain which lacks amino acid residues required for the productive interaction with ATP and metal ions. Tribbles proteins exert their biological functions mainly through direct interaction with MAPKK and AKT proteins, therefore regulating important pathways involved in cell proliferation, apoptosis and differentiation. Due to the role of MAPKK and AKT signalling in the context of cancer development, Tribbles proteins have been recently considered as biomarkers of cancer progression. Furthermore, as the atypical pseudokinase domain retains a binding platform for substrates, Tribbles targeting provides an attractive opportunity for drug development.
The Tribbles pseudokinases family consists of TRIB1, TRIB2, TRIB3 and STK40 and, although evolutionarily conserved, they have distinctive characteristics. Tribbles members are expressed in a context and cell compartment-dependent manner. For example, TRIB1 and TRIB2 have potent oncogenic activities in vertebrate cells. Since the identification of Tribbles proteins as modulators of multiple signalling pathways, recent studies have linked their expression with several pathologies, including cancer. Tribbles proteins act as protein adaptors involved in the ubiquitin-proteasome degradation system, as they bridge the gap between substrates and E3 ligases. Between TRIB family members, TRIB2 is the most ancestral member of the family. TRIB2 is involved in protein homeostasis regulation of C/EBPα, β-catenin and TCF4. On the other hand, TRIB2 interacts with MAPKK, AKT and NFkB proteins, involved in cell survival, proliferation and immune response. Here, we review the characteristic features of TRIB2 structure and signalling and its role in many cancer subtypes with an emphasis on TRIB2 function in therapy resistance in melanoma, leukemia and glioblastoma. The strong evidence between TRIB2 expression and chemoresistance provides an attractive opportunity for targeting TRIB2. View Full-Text
Keywords: TRIB2; Tribbles; pseudokinases; signalling; cancer; therapy resistance; biomarker TRIB2; Tribbles; pseudokinases; signalling; cancer; therapy resistance; biomarker
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mayoral-Varo, V.; Jiménez, L.; Link, W. The Critical Role of TRIB2 in Cancer and Therapy Resistance. Cancers 2021, 13, 2701.

AMA Style

Mayoral-Varo V, Jiménez L, Link W. The Critical Role of TRIB2 in Cancer and Therapy Resistance. Cancers. 2021; 13(11):2701.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mayoral-Varo, Victor; Jiménez, Lucía; Link, Wolfgang. 2021. "The Critical Role of TRIB2 in Cancer and Therapy Resistance" Cancers 13, no. 11: 2701.

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