Friday, February 5, 2021

The rise of covalent proteolysis targeting chimeras

Ronen Gabizon, Nir London

Current Opinion in Chemical Biology,  62, 2021, 24-33

Targeted protein degradation offers several advantages over direct inhibition of protein activity and is gaining increasing interest in chemical biology and drug discovery. Proteolysis targeting chimeras (PROTACs) in particular are enjoying widespread application. However, PROTACs, which recruit an E3 ligase for degradation of a target protein, still suffer from certain challenges. These include a limited selection for E3 ligases on the one hand and the requirement for potent target binding on the other hand. Both issues restrict the target scope available for PROTACs. Degraders that covalently engage the target protein or the E3 ligase can potentially expand the pool of both targets and E3 ligases. Moreover, they may offer additional advantages by improving the kinetics of ternary complex formation or by endowing additional selectivity to the degrader. Here, we review the recent progress in the emerging field of covalent PROTACs.

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