Role of the NEDD4 family of E3 ubiquitin ligases in colorectal cancer

The objective of this project is to identify and functionally characterize E3 ubiquitin ligases involved in colorectal cancer development and to evaluate their potential as biomarkers and drug targets. We are focusing on the NEDD4 (neural precursor cell-expressed developmentally down-regulated 4) family of E3 ubiquitin ligases. This protein family comprises nine members in humans, and has important roles in the regulation of key signaling pathways implicated in cancer development, such as the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt and the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) pathways. Several members of the NEDD4 E3 ubiquitin ligase family may act as proto-oncogenes or tumor suppressors and represent potential drug targets.

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