Proteasome inhibitors bortezomib and carfilzomib used for the treatment of multiple myeloma do not inhibit the serine protease HtrA2/Omi
The proteasome inhibitor bortezomib is associated with the development of peripheral neuropathy in patients, but the mechanism by which bortezomib can induce peripheral neuropathy is not fully understood. One study suggested that off-target inhibition of proteases other than the proteasome, particularly HtraA2/Omi, may be the underlying mechanism of the neuropathy. The same study also concluded that carfilzomib, a second proteasome inhibitor that is associated with less peripheral neuropathy in patients than bortezomib, showed no inhibition of HtrA2/Omi. The goal of the work described here was to determine whether either proteasome inhibitors truly affected HtrA2/Omi activity. A variety of methods were used to test the effects of both bortezomib and carfilzomib on HtrA2/Omi activity that included in vitro recombinant enzyme assays, and studies with the human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line and HtrA2/Omi-knockout mouse embryonic fibroblasts. The compound ucf-101 was used to assess the effects of specific HtrA2/Omi inhibition. In contrast to previously published data, our results clearly demonstrated that neither bortezomib nor carfilzomib inhibited HtrA2/Omi activity in recombinant enzyme assays at concentrations up to 100 μM, while the specific inhibitor ucf-101 did inhibit the enzyme. The proteasome inhibitors did not inhibit HtrA2/Omi activity in either SH-SY5Y cells or mouse embryonic fibroblasts, as determined by expression of the HtrA2/Omi substrates eIF4G1 and UCH-L1. Based on our biochemical and cell-based assays, we conclude that neither bortezomib nor carfilzomib inhibited HtrA2/Omi activity. Therefore, it is unlikely that bortezomib associated peripheral neuropathy is a direct result of off-target inhibition of HtrA2/Omi.