Since the discovery of the proteasome and its structure elucidation intensive research programs in academic institutions and pharmaceutical industries led to identification of a wide spectrum of synthetic and natural small proteasomal inhibitors. Activity studies with these small molecules helped to deeply understand the complex biochemical organization and functioning of the proteasome. The new structural and biochemical insights placed the proteasome as an important anti-cancer drug target, as revealed by the dipeptide boronate proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib, which is currently used for treatment of multiple myeloma. Serious side effects and partial cell resistance against bortezomib demand creation and discovery of new improved generations of more specific and potent proteasomal inhibitors.
(c) 2008 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.