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J Med Chem. 2018 Jun 28;61(12):5222-5234. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.8b00026. Epub 2018 Jun 9.

Selective Substrates and Activity-Based Probes for Imaging of the Human Constitutive 20S Proteasome in Cells and Blood Samples.

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Department of Bioorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry , Wroclaw University of Science and Technology , Wyb. Wyspianskiego 27 , 50-370 Wroclaw , Poland.
Program in Cell Death and Survival Networks , Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute , La Jolla , California 92037 , United States.


The proteasome is an enzyme complex critical for maintaining protein homeostasis. Perturbed proteasome function leads to pathologies including cancer and autoimmune and neurodegenerative disease. Therefore, the proteasome constitutes an excellent molecular target for pharmaceutical development. Here, using the HyCoSuL approach, we designed and synthesized novel and selective fluorogenic substrates for each of these three constitutive 20S proteasome activities and applied them to assess inhibition of proteasome subunits by MG-132 and a clinically used inhibitor bortezomib. Our results confirm the utility of designed substrates in biochemical assays. Furthermore, selective peptide sequences obtained in this manner were used to construct fluorophore-labeled activity-based probes and then utilized to detect each constitutive 20S proteasome subunit simultaneously in lysates of HEK-293F cells and red blood cells. Overall, we describe a simple and rapid method useful to measure constitutive 20S proteasome activity in whole human blood samples that could enable early diagnosis of pathological states associated with aberrantly upregulated proteasome activity.

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