Enhancement of Proteasome Activity for the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases


Executive Summary


As we age, a decrease in the 20S proteasome’s activity level yields an increase in the accumulation and aggregation of toxic proteins, which are the classical hallmarks of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease. Artificial activation of the proteasome leads to an increased degradation rate of these aggregation-prone proteins, and has been found to improve cognitive function in vivo. A new chemical compound enhances the 20S proteasome activity, offering new hope for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.


Description of Technology


Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a novel technology that employs small molecules, termed imidazolines, in two ways: First, the compounds enhance the degradation of intrinsically damaged tau and -synuclein proteins and second, they induce cellular clearance of oxidatively damaged proteins. These agents are positive allosteric modulators of the 20S proteasome and show promise as a clinical approach to treat a variety of neurodegenerative diseases.


Key Benefits

  • Novel therapeutic – No current disease-altering treatments for many neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Ease of administration – Compound is orally bioavailable.
  • Treatment of multiple diseases – Could be used to treat a variety of neurodegenerative and other diseases.



  • Neurodegenerative disease / aging therapy
  • Cancer therapy
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Research tool


Patent Status:


Patent pending


Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights



Dr. Jetze J. Tepe, Theresa A. Lansdell, Evert Njomen, Corey Lee Jones


Tech ID: 2016-0128


Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Anne Disante
Associate Director
Michigan State University