The involvement of the 20S proteasome in the degradation of critical intracellular regulatory proteins has suggested the potential use of proteasome inhibitors as novel anti-inflammatory agents and for the treatment of cancer and auto-immune diseases. Early inhibitors of the 20S proteasome were relatively nonspecific compounds and used for in vitro studies of the ubiquitin / proteasome-dependent degradation pathway. The inherent drawbacks of these inhibitors (e.g., non-target specific, too reactive or unstable) has prompted medicinal chemists to search for alternative subunit-specific proteasome inhibitors. This manuscript summarises recent salient medicinal chemistry achievements in this area of research.
Keywords: 20s proteasome inhibitor, anti-inflammatory agent
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