• Cell biology;
  • iTRAQ;
  • Kinetic of protein variation;
  • Proteasome inhibition

The ubiquitin-proteasome system allows the targeted degradation of proteins and plays a critical role in the regulation of many cellular processes. Proteasome inhibition is a recent antitumor therapeutic strategy and bortezomib was the first proteasome inhibitor approved for clinical use. In this study, we used the NB4 cell line to investigate the effects of bortezomib toward acute promyelocytic leukemia cells before and after retinoic acid-induced differentiation. We showed that apoptosis level after bortezomib treatment is higher in NB4 cells than in differentiated NB4 cells. To compare early protein variations upon bortezomib treatment in both NB4 cell populations, we performed a quantitative proteomic analysis based on iTRAQ peptide labeling followed by data analysis with in-house developed scripts. This strategy revealed the regulation of 14 proteins principally involved in protein stress response and apoptosis in NB4 cells after proteasome inhibition. Altogether, our results suggest that the differential level of apoptosis induced by bortezomib treatment in both NB4 cell populations could result from distinct protein toxicity level.