Targeting neddylation as a novel approach to improve the treatment of head and neck cancer

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6 Scopus citations


Head and neck cancer is diagnosed in nearly 900,000 new patients worldwide each year. Despite this alarming number, patient outcomes, particularly for those diagnosed with late-stage and human papillomavirus (HPV)-negative disease, have only marginally improved in the last three decades. New therapeutics that target novel pathways are desperately needed. NEDDylation is a key cellular process by which NEDD8 proteins are conjugated to substrate proteins in order to modulate their function. NEDDylation is closely tied to appropriate protein degradation, particularly proteins involved in cell cycle regulation, DNA damage repair, and cellular stress response. Compo-nents of the NEDDylation pathway are frequently overexpressed or hyperactivated in many cancer types including head and neck cancer, which contribute to disease progression and drug resistance. Therefore, targeting NEDDylation could have a major impact for malignancies with alterations in the pathway, and this has already been demonstrated in preclinical studies and clinical trials. Here, we will survey the mechanisms by which aberrant NEDDylation contributes to disease pathogenesis and discuss the potential clinical implications of inhibiting NEDDylation as a novel approach for the treatment of head and neck cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3250
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • Head and neck cancer
  • MLN4924
  • NEDD8
  • NEDDylation
  • Pevonedistat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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