Bortezomib is an inhibitor of the ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic pathway responsible for intracellular protein turnover. Cellular proteins controlled by this pathway represent a diverse group of potential therapeutic targets, particularly in cancer cells, which exploit this proteasomal pathway to promote their growth and diminish apoptosis. Along with inhibiting the proteasome and thus sensitizing tumor cells to apoptosis, bortezomib may also have multiple effects on the hostimmune responses. This review summarizes the effects that bortezomib may play on immunecell subsets in various disease states in modifying lymphocyte receptors, ligands, the expression of various cytokines and chemokines and their downstream signaling. We also propose steps that can be taken to refine combinatorial strategies that include bortezomib to improve current immunotherapeutic approaches.
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