Regulation of Protein Degradation by Proteasomes in Cancer

  • Jang, Ho Hee (Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Gachon University)
  • Received : 2018.12.07
  • Accepted : 2018.12.18
  • Published : 2018.12.30


Imbalance of protein homeostasis (proteostasis) is known to cause cellular malfunction, cell death, and diseases. Elaborate regulation of protein synthesis and degradation is one of the important processes in maintaining normal cellular functions. Protein degradation pathways in eukaryotes are largely divided into proteasome-mediated degradation and lysosome-mediated degradation. Proteasome is a multisubunit complex that selectively degrades 80% to 90% of cellular proteins. Proteasome-mediated degradation can be divided into 26S proteasome (20S proteasome + 19S regulatory particle) and free 20S proteasome degradation. In 1980, it was discovered that during ubiquitination process, wherein ubiquitin binds to a substrate protein in an ATP-dependent manner, ubiquitin acts as a degrading signal to degrade the substrate protein via proteasome. Conversely, 20S proteasome degrades the substrate protein without using ATP or ubiquitin because it recognizes the oxidized and structurally modified hydrophobic patch of the substrate protein. To date, most studies have focused on protein degradation via 26S proteasome. This review describes the 26S/20S proteasomal pathway of protein degradation and discusses the potential of proteasome as therapeutic targets for cancer treatment as well as against diseases caused by abnormalities in the proteolytic system.


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)


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