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Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell malignancy characterised by aberrant production of immunoglobulins requiring survival mechanisms to adapt to proteotoxic stress. We here show that glutamyl-prolyl-tRNA synthetase (GluProRS) inhibition constitutes a novel therapeutic target. Genomic data suggest that GluProRS promotes disease progression and is associated with poor prognosis, while downregulation in MM cells triggers apoptosis. We developed NCP26, a novel ATP-competitive ProRS inhibitor that demonstrates significant anti-tumour activity in multiple in vitro and in vivo systems and overcomes metabolic adaptation observed with other inhibitor chemotypes. We demonstrate a complex phenotypic response involving protein quality control mechanisms that centers around the ribosome as an integrating hub. Using systems approaches, we identified multiple downregulated proline-rich motif-containing proteins as downstream effectors. These include CD138, transcription factors such as MYC, and transcription factor 3 (TCF3), which we establish as a novel determinant in MM pathobiology through functional and genomic validation. Our preclinical data therefore provide evidence that blockade of prolyl-aminoacylation evokes a complex pro-apoptotic response beyond the canonical integrated stress response and establish a framework for its evaluation in a clinical setting.

Original publication




Journal article


Blood Cancer J

Publication Date





Humans, Multiple Myeloma, Amino Acyl-tRNA Synthetases