Sprouty proteins are evolutionarily conserved modulators of MAPK/ERK pathway. Through interacting with an increasing number of effectors, mediators, and regulators with ultimate influence on multiple targets within or beyond ERK, Sprouty orchestrates a complex, multilayered regulatory system and mediates a crosstalk among different signaling pathways for a coordinated cellular response. As such, Sprouty has been implicated in various developmental and physiological processes. Evidence shows that ERK is aberrantly activated in malignant conditions. Accordingly, Sprouty deregulation has been reported in different cancer types and shown to impact cancer development, progression, and metastasis. In this article, we have tried to provide an overview of the current knowledge about the Sprouty physiology and its regulatory functions in health, as well as an updated review of the Sprouty status in cancer. Putative implications of Sprouty in cancer biology, their clinical relevance, and their proposed applications are also revisited. As a developing story, however, role of Sprouty in cancer remains to be further elucidated.
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