Intrinsically Connected: Therapeutically Targeting the Cathepsin Proteases and the Bcl-2 Family of Protein Substrates as Co-regulators of Apoptosis

Surinder M Soond, Maria V Kozhevnikova, Lyudmila V Savvateeva, Paul A Townsend, Andrey A Zamyatnin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Taken with the growing importance of cathepsin-mediated substrate proteolysis in tumor biology and progression, the focus and emphasis placed on therapeutic design and development is coming into fruition. Underpinning this approach is the invariable progression from the direction of fully characterizing cathepsin protease members and their substrate targets, towards targeting such an interaction with tangible therapeutics. The two groups of such substrates that have gained much attention over the years are the pro- and anti- apoptotic protein intermediates from the extrinsic and intrinsic signaling arms of the apoptosis pathway. As proteins that are central to determining cellular fate, some of them present themselves as very favorable candidates for therapeutic targeting. However, considering that both anti- and pro- apoptotic signaling intermediates have been reported to be downstream substrates for certain activated cathepsin proteases, therapeutic targeting approaches based on greater selectivity do need to be given greater consideration. Herein, we review the relationships shared by the cathepsin proteases and the Bcl-2 homology domain proteins, in the context of how the topical approach of adopting 'BH3-mimetics' can be explored further in modulating the relationship between the anti- and pro- apoptotic signaling intermediates from the intrinsic apoptosis pathway and their upstream cathepsin protease regulators. Based on this, we highlight important future considerations for improved therapeutic design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4669
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume22
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • BH3
  • Bcl-2
  • Cancer
  • Cathepsins
  • Cell death
  • Extrinsic
  • Intrinsic
  • MOMP

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre

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