Inhibitors for the immuno- and constitutive proteasome: Current and future trends in drug development

Eva Maria Huber, Michael Groll

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


Proteolytic degradation is an essential cellular process which is primarily carried out by the 20S proteasome core particle (CP), a protease of 720 kDa and 28 individual subunits. As a result of its central functional role, the proteasome represents an attractive drug target that has been extensively investigated during the last decade and validated by the approval of bortezomib by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Currently, several optimized second-generation proteasome inhibitors are being explored as anticancer drugs in clinical trials, and most of them target both constitutive proteasomes (cCPs) and immunoproteasomes (iCPs). However, selective inhibition of the iCPs, a distinct class of proteasomes predominantly expressed in immune cells, appears to be a promising therapeutic rationale for the treatment of autoimmune disorders. Although a few selective agents have already been identified, the recently determined crystal structure of the iCP will further promote the development and optimization of iCP-selective compounds. Under arrest: The first immunoproteasome-specific inhibitors were recently developed. The most potent one shows promise in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, thus opening the door for new clinical applications. Structure-affinity studies with the available immuno- and constitutive proteasome crystal structures will facilitate future drug development efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8708-8720
Number of pages13
JournalAngewandte Chemie International Edition in English
Issue number35
StatePublished - 27 Aug 2012


  • autoimmune diseases
  • drug design
  • immunoproteasomes
  • inhibitors
  • proteins


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