The serine-threonine kinase receptor-associated protein (STRAP) was initially identified as a putative inhibitor of the canonical TGF-beta signaling pathway. Because the Smad-dependent TGF-beta pathway negatively regulates cellular growth, early functional studies suggested that STRAP behaves as an oncogene. Indeed, a correlation between STRAP overexpression and various cancers has been identified. With the emergence of new studies on the biological function of STRAP, it is becoming clear that STRAP regulates several distinct cellular processes and modulates multiple signaling pathways. While STRAP itself does not possess enzymatic activity, it appears that STRAP influences biological processes through associations with cellular proteins. In this review, we will describe the TGF-beta-dependent and -independent functions of STRAP and provide a context for the significance of STRAP activity in the development of cancer.