The cell cycle is a series of events by which cellular components are accurately segregated into daughter cells, principally controlled by the oscillating activities of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) and their co-activators. In eukaryotes, DNA replication is confined to a discrete synthesis phase while chromosome segregation occurs during mitosis. During mitosis, the chromosomes are pulled into each of the two daughter cells by the coordination of spindle microtubules, kinetochores, centromeres, and chromatin. These four functional units tie chromosomes to the microtubules, send signals to the cells when the attachment is completed and the division can proceed, and withstand the force generated by pulling the chromosomes to either daughter cell. Protein ubiquitination is a post-translational modification that plays a central role in cellular homeostasis. E3 ubiquitin ligases mediate the transfer of ubiquitin to substrate proteins determining their fate. One of the largest subfamilies of E3 ubiquitin ligases is the family of the tripartite motif (TRIM) proteins, whose dysregulation is associated with a variety of cellular processes and directly involved in human diseases and cancer. In this review we summarize the current knowledge and emerging concepts about TRIMs and their contribution to the correct regulation of cell cycle, describing how TRIMs control the cell cycle transition phases and their involvement in the different functional units of the mitotic process, along with implications in cancer progression.
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