The Proteasome in Modern Drug Discovery: Second Life of a Highly Valuable Drug Target

ACS Cent Sci. 2017 Aug 23;3(8):830-838. doi: 10.1021/acscentsci.7b00252. Epub 2017 Aug 7.


As the central figure of the cellular protein degradation machinery, the proteasome is critical for cell survival. Having been extensively targeted for inhibition, the constitutive proteasome has proven its role as a highly valuable drug target. However, recent advances in the protein homeostasis field suggest that additional chapters can be added to this successful story. For example, selective immunoproteasome inhibition promises high clinical efficacy for autoimmune disorders and inflammation, and proteasome inhibitors might serve as novel therapeutics for malaria or other microorganisms. Furthermore, utilizing the destructive force of the proteasome for selective degradation of essential drivers of human disorders has opened up a new and exciting area of drug discovery. Thus, the field of proteasome drug discovery still holds exciting questions to be answered and does not simply end with inhibiting the constitutive proteasome.

Publication types

  • Review