Translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP), also called histamine releasing factor (HRF) or fortilin, is a multifunctional protein present in almost all eukaryotic organisms. TCTP is involved in a range of basic cell biological processes, such as promotion of growth and development, or cellular defense in response to biological stresses. Cellular TCTP levels are highly regulated in response to a variety of physiological signals, and regulatory mechanism at various levels have been elucidated. Given the importance of TCTP in maintaining cellular homeostasis, it is not surprising that dysregulation of this protein is associated with a range of disease processes. Here, we review recent progress that has been made in the characterisation of the basic biological functions of TCTP, in the description of mechanisms involved in regulating its cellular levels and in the understanding of dysregulation of TCTP, as it occurs in disease processes such as cancer.