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As shown in the present chapter, it is very difficult to find an aspect of cellular
life, function, or pathology not involving the proteasomal system. Therefore,
the importance of the UPS for the functionality of the cell plays a role hardly
to overestimate. If one takes into account the early presence of the system in
evolution, as in archaebacteria as T. acidophilum , this demonstrates further-
more that recognition and removal of non-necessary or damaged proteins
from cells has been required almost from the origins of life. Naturally, the
proteasomal system developed and specialized in order to match changing
demands in different cell types and take part in a multitude of functions. Due
to the complex tasks of the UPS system during the normal cellular life, it is
obvious that failures of this system may result in numerous pathologic pro-
cesses, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Some of these dis-
eases (and the aging process per se) are characterized by a malfunction of the
proteasomes and the UPS. Interestingly, therefore, the term “proteasomal
storage diseases” was created (493).
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