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The ubiquitin-proteasome system has emerged as essential sets of reactions involved in many biological processes in addition to the disposal of misfolded and damaged proteins. Studies in different research areas reveal its role in regulating cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis, signaling, and protein targeting. Small molecule inhibitors against the proteasome have been useful in determining the specific role of this enzyme in these processes. Here we review recent progress made in the development and application of molecules that target proteasomal proteolysis. In addition, an increasing number of other enzymes in this pathway, in particular deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) and N-glycanases, appear to be attractive alternative targets for developing inhibitors that can be used to interfere with biological processes linked to the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. © 2008 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

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Journal article

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51 - 78