The past, present, and future of CRM1/XPO1 inhibitors

Amy Y. Wang, Hongtao Liu


Therapies targeted at inhibiting nucleo-cytoplasmic transport have found broad applications in the field of oncology. Chromosome region maintenance 1 (CRM1), better known as exportin 1 (XPO1), is the protein transporter responsible for the nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling of most of the tumor suppressor proteins (TSP) and growth regulatory factors. XPO1 is also upregulated in many malignancies and associated with a poor prognosis. Its inhibition has been a target of therapy, and hence, the selective inhibitors of nuclear transport (SINE) compounds were developed as a novel class of anti-cancer agents. The most well-known SINE agent is selinexor (KPT-330) and has been widely tested in phase I and II clinical trials in both solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. This review discusses how dysregulation of XPO1 promotes tumorigenesis, the historical considerations in the development of SINE compounds, and their role in current clinical therapies.