RNF40 (OMIM: 607700) is a really interesting new gene (RING) finger E3 ubiquitin ligase containing multiple coiled-coil domains and a C-terminal RING finger motif, which engage in protein-DNA and protein-protein interactions. RNF40 encodes a polypeptide of 1001 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of 113,678 Da. RNF40 and its paralog RNF20 form a stable heterodimer complex that can monoubiquitylate histone H2B at lysine 120 as well as other nonhistone proteins. Cancer is a major public health problem and the second leading cause of death. Through its protein ubiquitylation activity, RNF40 acts as a tumor suppressor or oncogene to play major epigenetic roles in cancer development, progression, and metastasis, highlighting the essential function of RNF40 and the importance of studying it. In this review, we summarize current knowledge about RNF40 gene structure and the role of RNF40 in histone H2B monoubiquitylation, DNA damage repair, apoptosis, cancer development, and metastasis. We also underscore challenges in applying this information to cancer prognosis and prevention and highlight the urgent need for additional investigations of RNF40 as a potential target for cancer therapeutics.