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Targeting the Tumor Proteasome as a Mechanism to Control the Synthesis and Bioactivity of Matrix Macromolecules

[ Vol. 12 , Issue. 8 ]


S. S. Skandalis, A. J. Aletras, C. Gialeli, A. D. Theocharis, N. Afratis, G. N. Tzanakakis and N. K. Karamanos   Pages 1068 - 1082 ( 15 )


Extracellular matrices (ECMs) are dynamic structures that provide cells not only with a structural support but, importantly, exhibit significant functional roles in the control of key cellular events such as adhesion, migration, proliferation, differentiation, and survival. In tumors, matrix effectors such as proteoglycans (PGs) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) constitute major regulators of the interactions between tumor cells and their microenvironment and, therefore, they have been identified as potential molecular targets that are expected to advance the pharmacological treatment of cancer. ECMs composition is highly affected by cells through intrinsic regulatory mechanisms, such as the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). Proteasome is a major cellular protease complex that controls the concentration and turnover of molecules in ECMs, including certain types of PGs, MMPs and collagens, and consequently, in the tumor microenvironment. Furthermore, proteasome activity is regulated by PG-derived intracellular glycosaminoglycan moieties revealing a critical inter-dependence of these compounds. Since ECMs renewal and degradation can be tightly regulated by proteasome activities, its modulation may be considered as a novel strategy to control the properties of tumor microenvironment. Currently, there are several proteasome inhibitors targeting distinct molecular pathways either approved or in clinical trials for the treatment of multiple cancers. In this review, the novel approach of targeting the proteasome to selectively regulate the synthesis and the bioactivity of certain matrix PGs and MMPs is presented and discussed.


Bortezomib, cancer, decorin, extracellular matrix, fibrosis, heparan sulfate, hyaluronan, matrix metalloproteinases, pharmacological targeting, proteasome inhibitors, proteasome, proteoglycans, tumor microenvironment, homeostasis, neurodegenerative disorders.


Laboratory of Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Patras, 26500 Patras, Greece.

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