Targeting the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway has emerged as a potent anticancer strategy. Bortezomib, a specific proteasome inhibitor, has been approved for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma cell survival is highly dependent on Mcl-1 antiapoptotic molecules. In a recent study, proteasome inhibitors induced Mcl-1 accumulation that slowed down their proapoptotic effects. Consequently, we investigated the role of Bcl-2 family members in bortezomib-induced apoptosis. We found that bortezomib induced apoptosis in five of seven human myeloma cell lines (HMCL). Bortezomib-induced apoptosis was associated with Mcl-1 cleavage regardless of Mcl-1L accumulation. Furthermore, RNA interference mediated Mcl-1 decrease and sensitized RPMI-8226 HMCL to bortezomib, highlighting the contribution of Mcl-1 in bortezomib-induced apoptosis. Interestingly, an important induction of Noxa was found in all sensitive HMCL both at protein and mRNA level. Concomitant to Mcl-1 cleavage and Noxa induction, we also found caspase-3, caspase-8, and caspase-9 activation. Under bortezomib treatment, Mcl-1L/Noxa complexes were highly increased, Mcl-1/Bak complexes were disrupted, and there was an accumulation of free Noxa. Finally, we observed a dissociation of Mcl-1/Bim complexes that may be due to a displacement of Bim induced by Noxa. Thus, in myeloma cells, the mechanistic basis for bortezomib sensitivity can be explained mainly by the model in which the sensitizer Noxa can displace Bim, a BH3-only activator, from Mcl-1, thus leading to Bax/Bak activation.