The Popeye domain‐containing protein 1 (POPDC1), a tight junction‐associated transmembrane protein with a unique binding site for cAMP, has been shown to act as a tumour suppressor in cancer cells. Through interaction with many downstream effectors and signalling pathways, POPDC1 promotes cell adhesion and inhibits uncontrolled cell proliferation, epithelial‐to‐mesenchymal transition and metastasis. However, POPDC1 expression is down‐regulated in many types of cancer, thereby reducing its tumour‐suppressive actions. This review discusses the role of POPDC1 in the progression of the malignant phenotype and highlights the broad range of benefits POPDC1 stabilisation may achieve therapeutically. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a key hallmark of malignancies and commonly promote treatment resistance. This article provides a comprehensive overview of CSC signalling mechanisms, many of which have been shown to be regulated by POPDC1 in other cell types, thus suggesting an additional therapeutic benefit for POPDC1‐stabilising anti‐cancer drugs.
- cancer stem cells
- epithelial‐to‐mesenchymal transition
- mesenchymal transition