Natural occurring modulators of proteasome functionality are extensively investigated for their implication in cancer therapy. On the basis of our previous evidences both on proteasomal inhibition by monomeric polyphenols, and on the characterization of wheat sprout hydroalcoholic extract, herein we thoroughly report on a comparative study of the effect of wheat sprout extract on both normal and tumour cells. Treatment of isolated 20S proteasomes with wheat sprout extracts induced a gradual inhibition of all proteasome activities. Next, two wheat sprout extract components were separated: a polyphenol and a protein fraction. Both components exerted an in vitro inhibitory effect on proteasome activity. HeLa tumour cells and FHs 74 Int normal cells were exposed to both fractions, resulting in different rates of proteasome inhibition, with tumour cells showing a significantly higher degree of proteasome impairment and apoptosis induction. Furthermore, a decrease in proteasome activities and in cell survival of the human plasmacytoma RPMI 8226 cell line, upon the same treatments, was observed. Collectively, our results provide additional evidences supporting the possible use of natural extracts as coadjuvants in cancer treatments.