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Current cancer drug targets

Disulfiram, and disulfiram derivatives as novel potential anticancer drugs targeting the ubiquitin-proteasome system in both preclinical and clinical studies.


PMID 21247383

Abstract

Disulfiram is a FDA approved drug for the treatment of alcoholism and available for clinical use since over 5 decades. Despite data from the 1970s and 80s that showed that disulfiram and analogs are able to enhance the activity of anticancer cytotoxic drugs and might be useful chemopreventative agents, the underlying molecular mechanisms remained unknown until recently. Large scale screening efforts for agents that can inhibit the proteasome and be used as novel anticancer drugs, revealed that disulfiram has proteasome inhibitory activity. Moreover, disulfiram was also found to have specific activity against zinc fingers and RING-finger ubiquitin E3 ligases that play an important role in cancer development. Here, we review the preclinical and clinical studies exploring disulfiram as an anticancer agent as well as research programs that focus on the development of disulfiram derivatives as inhibitors of the ubiquitin-proteasome system.