Small Molecule 20S Proteasome Enhancer Regulates MYC Protein Stability and Exhibits Antitumor Activity in Multiple Myeloma

Biomedicines. 2022 Apr 19;10(5):938. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines10050938.


Despite the addition of several new agents to the armamentarium for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM) in the last decade and improvements in outcomes, the refractory and relapsing disease continues to take a great toll, limiting overall survival. Therefore, additional novel approaches are needed to improve outcomes for MM patients. The oncogenic transcription factor MYC drives cell growth, differentiation and tumor development in many cancers. MYC protein levels are tightly regulated by the proteasome and an increase in MYC protein expression is found in more than 70% of all human cancers, including MM. In addition to the ubiquitin-dependent degradation of MYC by the 26S proteasome, MYC levels are also regulated in a ubiquitin-independent manner through the REGγ activation of the 20S proteasome. Here, we demonstrate that a small molecule activator of the 20S proteasome, TCH-165, decreases MYC protein levels, in a manner that parallels REGγ protein-mediated MYC degradation. TCH-165 enhances MYC degradation and reduces cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo models of multiple myeloma by enhancing apoptotic signaling, as assessed by targeted gene expression analysis of cancer pathways. Furthermore, 20S proteasome enhancement is well tolerated in mice and dogs. These data support the therapeutic potential of small molecule-driven 20S proteasome activation for the treatments of MYC-driven cancers, especially MM.

PMID:35625675 | DOI:10.3390/biomedicines10050938