REVIEW Bortezomib is the first therapeutic proteasome inhibitor to be tested in humans. It is approved in the U.S. for treating relapsed multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma. As a dipeptide boronic acid analog with antineoplastic activity, Bortezomib reversibly inhibits the 26S proteasome, a large protease complex that degrades ubiquinated proteins. By blocking the targeted proteolysis normally performed by the proteasome, bortezomib disrupts various cell signaling pathways, leading to cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and inhibition of angiogenesis. Specifically, the agent inhibits nuclear factor NF-κB, a protein that is constitutively activated in some cancers, thereby interfering with NF-κB -mediated cell survival, tumor growth, and angiogenesis. In vivo, bortezomib delays tumor growth and enhances the cytotoxic effects of radiation and chemotherapy.
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