Proteasome inhibitors (PIs) are a backbone of multiple myeloma (MM) therapy. The proteasome harbors six proteolytically active subunits (β1, β2, β5), while β5 was identified as rate-limiting and is a primary target of clinically available PIs. The most effective pattern of subunit inhibition provided by these PIs for cytotoxic activity in MM is unknown. A head-to-head comparison of clinically available PIs shows that in the clinically relevant setting only the co-inhibition of β1 or β2 with β5 activity achieves meaningful functional proteasome inhibition and cytotoxicity, while the selective β2/β5 inhibition of both constitutive and immunoproteasome is the most cytotoxic. In the long-term setting, selective inhibition of β5 subunit is sufficient to induce cytotoxicity in PI-sensitive, but not in PI-resistant MM, and the β5/β2 co-inhibition is the most cytotoxic in PI-resistant MM. These results give a rational basis for selecting individual PIs for the treatment of MM.
Keywords: activity-based probes; bortezomib; carfilzomib; multiple myeloma; proteasome; proteasome inhibitors; resistance.
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