A cell-permeable inhibitor and activity-based probe for the caspase-like activity of the proteasome.
van Swieten PF., Samuel E., Hernández RO., van den Nieuwendijk AMCH., Leeuwenburgh MA., van der Marel GA., Kessler BM., Overkleeft HS., Kisselev AF.
The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway degrades the majority of proteins in mammalian cells and plays an essential role in the generation of antigenic peptides presented by major histocompatibility class I molecules. Proteasome inhibitors are of great interest as research tools and drug candidates. Most work on proteasome inhibitors has focused on the inhibition of the chymotryptic-like (beta5) sites; little attention has been paid to the inhibition of two other types of active sites, the trypsin-like (beta2) and the caspase-like (beta1). We report here the development of the first cell-permeable and highly selective inhibitors (4 and 5) of the proteasome's caspase-like site. The selectivity of the compounds is directly and unambiguously established by Staudinger-Bertozzi labeling of proteasome subunits covalently modified with azide-functionalized inhibitor 5. This labeling reveals that the caspase-like site of the immunoproteasome (beta1i) is a preferred target of this compound. These compounds can be used as tools to study roles of beta1 and beta1i sites in generation of specific antigenic peptides and their potential role as co-targets of anti-cancer drugs.