Cell division cycle 20 homologue (CDC20) is a well-known regulator of cell cycle, as it controls the correct segregation of chromosomes during mitosis. Many studies have focused on the biological role of CDC20 in cancer development, as alterations of its functionality have been linked to genomic instability and evidence demonstrated that high CDC20 expression levels are associated with poor overall survival in solid cancers. More recently, novel CDC20 functions have been demonstrated or suggested, including the regulation of apoptosis and stemness properties and a correlation with immune cell infiltration. Here, we here summarize and discuss the role of CDC20 inside and outside mitosis, starting from its network of interacting proteins. In the last years, CDC20 has also attracted more interest in the blood cancer field, being overexpressed and showing an association with prognosis both in myeloid and lymphoid malignancies. Preclinical findings showed that selective CDC20 and APC/C/APC/C inhibitors, namely Apcin and proTAME, are effective against lymphoma and multiple myeloma cells, resulting in mitotic arrest and apoptosis and synergizing with clinically-relevant drugs. The evidence and hypothesis presented in this review provide the input for further biological and chemical studies aiming to dissect novel potential CDC20 roles and targeting strategies in hematological malignancies.
© 2022. The Author(s).