The unfolded protein response is responsible for the detection of misfolded proteins and the coordination of their disposal and is necessary to maintain the cellular homoeostasis. Multiple myeloma cells secrete large amounts of immunoglobulins, proteins that need to be correctly folded by the chaperone system. If this process fails, the misfolded proteins have to be eliminated by the two main garbage-disposal systems of the cell: proteasome and aggresome. The blockade of either of these systems will result in accumulation of immunoglobulins and other toxic proteins in the cytoplasm and cell death. The simultaneous inhibition of the proteasome, by proteasome inhibitors (PIs) and the aggresome, by histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) results in a synergistic increase in cytotoxicity in myeloma cell lines. This review provides an overview of mechanisms of action of second-generation PIs and HDACi in multiple myeloma (MM), the clinical results currently observed with these agents and assesses the potential therapeutic impact of the different agents in the two classes. The second-generation PIs offer benefits in terms of increased efficacy, reduced neurotoxicity as off-target effect and may overcome resistance to bortezomib because of their different chemical structure, mechanism of action and biological properties. HDACi with anti-myeloma activity in clinical development discussed in this review include vorinostat, panobinostat and selective HDAC6 inhibitor, ricolinostat.
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