The Ras/Raf/ERK pathway is one of the most frequently dysregulated signaling pathways in various cancers. In some such cancers, Ras and Raf are hotspots for mutations, which cause continuous activation of this pathway. However, in some other cancers, it is known that negative regulators of the Ras/Raf/ERK pathway are responsible for uncontrolled activation. The Sprouty/Spred family is broadly recognized as important negative regulators of the Ras/Raf/ERK pathway, and its expression is downregulated in many malignancies, leading to hyperactivation of the Ras/Raf/ERK pathway. After the discovery of this family, intensive research investigated the mechanism by which it suppresses the Ras/Raf/ERK pathway and its roles in developmental and pathophysiological processes. In this review, we discuss the complicated roles of the Sprouty/Spred family in tumor initiation, promotion, and progression and its future therapeutic potential.
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