Klin Onkol 2012; 25(Suppl 2): 38-44. DOI: 10.14735/amko20122S38.
Both nascent and mature proteins are prone to damaging changes induced by either external or internal stimuli. Dysfunctional or misfolded proteins cause direct physiological risk in crowded cellular environment and must be readily and efficiently eliminated. To ensure protein homeostasis, eukaryotic cells have evolved several protein quality control machineries. Protein quality control plays a special role in cancer cells. Genetic instability causing increased production of damaged and/or deregulated proteins is a hallmark of cancer cells. Therefore, intrinsic genetic instability together with hostile tumour microenvironment represents a demanding task for protein quality control machineries in tumours. Regulation of general protein turnover as well as degradation of tumour-promoting/suppressing proteins by protein quality control machineries thus represent an important processes involved in cancer development and progression. The review focuses on the description of three major protein quality control pathways and their roles in cancer.