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Cancer Lett. 2010 Jul 1;293(1):15-22. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2009.12.002. Epub 2010 Feb 4.

Proteasome inhibition: a new therapeutic strategy to cancer treatment.

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Institute of Digestive Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.


The ubiquitin-proteasome system is a major pathway for protein degradation. Targeting this pathway using proteasome inhibitors represents a novel approach for the treatment of cancer. Proteasome inhibitors lower cell proliferation and induce apoptosis in solid and hematologic malignancies through multiple mechanisms, including stabilization of cell cycle regulators and pro-apoptotic factors, stimulation of bone morphogenetic protein signaling, inhibition of protein translation, and sensitization to ligand-induced apoptosis. In this connection, proteasome inhibition activates macroautophagy, a compensatory protein degradation system, as well as other pro-survival signaling pathways. Inhibition of these auto-protective responses sensitizes cancer cells to the anti-proliferative effects of proteasome inhibitors.

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