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A Nimbolide-Based Kinase Degrader Preferentially Degrades Oncogenic BCR-ABL

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journal contribution
posted on 25.06.2020, 19:45 by Bingqi Tong, Jessica N. Spradlin, Luiz F. T. Novaes, Erika Zhang, Xirui Hu, Malte Moeller, Scott M. Brittain, Lynn M. McGregor, Jeffrey M. McKenna, John A. Tallarico, Markus Schirle, Thomas J. Maimone, Daniel K. Nomura
Targeted protein degradation (TPD) and proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs) have arisen as powerful therapeutic modalities for degrading specific proteins in a proteasome-dependent manner. However, a major limitation of TPD is the lack of E3 ligase recruiters. Recently, we discovered the natural product nimbolide as a covalent recruiter for the E3 ligase RNF114. Here, we show the broader utility of nimbolide as an E3 ligase recruiter for TPD applications. We demonstrate that a PROTAC linking nimbolide to the kinase and BCR-ABL fusion oncogene inhibitor dasatinib, BT1, selectively degrades BCR-ABL over c-ABL in leukemia cancer cells, compared to previously reported cereblon or VHL-recruiting BCR-ABL degraders that show opposite selectivity or, in some cases, inactivity. Thus, we further establish nimbolide as an additional general E3 ligase recruiter for PROTACs, and we demonstrate the importance of expanding upon the arsenal of E3 ligase recruiters, as such molecules confer differing selectivity for the degradation of neo-substrate proteins.