The vital link between the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and DNA repair: impact on cancer therapy

Cancer Lett. 2009 Sep 28;283(1):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.12.030. Epub 2009 Feb 6.


Proteasome-dependent protein degradation is involved in a variety of biological processes, including cell-cycle regulation, apoptosis, and stress-responses. Growing evidence from translational research and clinical trials proved the effectiveness of proteasome inhibitors (PIs) in treating several types of hematological malignancies. Although various key molecules in ubiquitin-dependent cellular processes have been proposed as relevant targets of therapeutic proteasome inhibition, our current understanding is far from complete. Recent rapid progress in DNA repair research has unveiled a crucial role of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (UPP) in regulating DNA repair. These findings thus bring up the idea that DNA repair pathways could be effective targets of PIs in mediating their cytotoxicity and enhancing the effect of radiotherapy and some DNA-damaging chemotherapeutic agents, such as cisplatin and camptothecin. In this review, we present the current perspective on the UPP-dependent regulatory mechanisms of DNA repair and discuss their therapeutic potential in the application of PIs to a broad spectrum of human cancers.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • DNA Repair / drug effects
  • DNA Repair / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism*


  • Ubiquitin
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex