The role of the ubiquitination-proteasome pathway in breast cancer: applying drugs that affect the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway to the therapy of breast cancer

Breast Cancer Res. 2003;5(1):1-7. doi: 10.1186/bcr460. Epub 2002 Aug 14.


The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway is responsible for most eukaryotic intracellular protein degradation. This pathway has been validated as a target for antineoplastic therapy using both in vitro and preclinical models of human malignancies, and is influenced as part of the mechanism of action of certain chemotherapeutic agents. Drugs whose primary action involves modulation of ubiquitin-proteasome activity, most notably the proteasome inhibitor PS-341, are currently being evaluated in clinical trials, and have already been found to have significant antitumor efficacy. On the basis of the known mechanisms by which these agents work, and the available clinical data, they would seem to be well suited for the treatment of breast neoplasms. Such drugs, alone and especially in combination with current chemotherapeutics, may well represent important advances in the therapy of patients with breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Boronic Acids / therapeutic use
  • Bortezomib
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Multienzyme Complexes / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Multienzyme Complexes / metabolism*
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
  • Pyrazines / therapeutic use
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Ubiquitins / metabolism*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Boronic Acids
  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Pyrazines
  • Ubiquitins
  • Bortezomib
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex