The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) is an essential metabolic constituent of cellular physiology that tightly regulates cellular protein concentrations with specificity and precision to optimize cellular function. Inhibition of the proteasome has proven very effective in the treatment of multiple myeloma, and this approach is being tested for utility in other malignancies. New pharmaceuticals targeting the proteasome itself or specific proximal pathways of the UPS are in development as antiproliferatives or immunomodulatory agents. In this article, we discuss the biology of UPS-targeting drugs, their use as therapy for neoplasia, and the state of clinical and preclinical development for emerging therapeutics.
Nathaniel M. Weathington, Rama K. Mallampalli
A schematic of the UPS.