Inhibition of NGLY1 inactivates the transcription factor Nrf1 and potentiates proteasome inhibitor cytotoxicity

We discovered that the proteostasis modulating transcription factor Nrf1 requires cytosolic de-N-glycosylation by the N-glycanase NGly1 as part of its activation mechanism. Through a covalent small molecule library screen, we discovered an inhibitor of NGly1 that blocks Nrf1 activation in cells and potentiates the activity of proteasome inhibitor cancer drugs. The requirement of NGly1 for Nrf1 activity likely underlies several pathologies associated with a rare hereditary deficiency in NGly1.