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BMC Biochem. 2007 Nov 22;8 Suppl 1:S3.

Role of proteasomes in disease.

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Institut für Biochemie, Charité-Universitätsmedizin-Berlin, Monbijoustr, 2, 10117 Berlin, Germany.


A functional ubiquitin proteasome system is essential for all eukaryotic cells and therefore any alteration to its components has potential pathological consequences. Though the exact underlying mechanism is unclear, an age-related decrease in proteasome activity weakens cellular capacity to remove oxidatively modified proteins and favours the development of neurodegenerative and cardiac diseases. Up-regulation of proteasome activity is characteristic of muscle wasting conditions including sepsis, cachexia and uraemia, but may not be rate limiting. Meanwhile, enhanced presence of immunoproteasomes in aging brain and muscle tissue could reflect a persistent inflammatory defence and anti-stress mechanism, whereas in cancer cells, their down-regulation reflects a means by which to escape immune surveillance. Hence, induction of apoptosis by synthetic proteasome inhibitors is a potential treatment strategy for cancer, whereas for other diseases such as neurodegeneration, the use of proteasome-activating or -modulating compounds could be more effective. Publication history: Republished from Current BioData's Targeted Proteins database (TPdb;

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