Cell chemical biology

Inhibition of the Proteasome β2 Site Sensitizes Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells to β5 Inhibitors and Suppresses Nrf1 Activation.

PMID 28132893


The proteasome inhibitors carfilzomib (Cfz) and bortezomib (Btz) are used successfully to treat multiple myeloma, but have not shown clinical efficacy in solid tumors. Here we show that clinically achievable inhibition of the β5 site of the proteasome by Cfz and Btz does not result in loss of viability of triple-negative breast cancer cell lines. We use site-specific inhibitors and CRISPR-mediated genetic inactivation of β1 and β2 to demonstrate that inhibiting a second site of the proteasome, particularly the β2 site, sensitizes cell lines to Btz and Cfz inxa0vitro and inxa0vivo. Inhibiting both β5 and β2 suppresses production of the soluble, active form of the transcription factor Nrf1 and prevents the recovery of proteasome activity through induction of new proteasomes. These findings provide a strong rationale for the development of dual β5 and β2 inhibitors for the treatment of solid tumors.