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A potent KRAS macromolecule degrader specifically targeting tumours with mutant KRAS.

Nature communications (2020-06-28)
Nicolas Bery, Ami Miller, Terry Rabbitts
ABSTRACT

Tumour-associated KRAS mutations are the most prevalent in the three RAS-family isoforms and involve many different amino-acids. Therefore, molecules able to interfere with mutant KRAS protein are potentially important for wide-ranging tumour therapy. We describe the engineering of two RAS degraders based on protein macromolecules (macrodrugs) fused to specific E3 ligases. A KRAS-specific DARPin fused to the VHL E3 ligase is compared to a pan-RAS intracellular single domain antibody (iDAb) fused to the UBOX domain of the CHIP E3 ligase. We demonstrate that while the KRAS-specific DARPin degrader induces specific proteolysis of both mutant and wild type KRAS, it only inhibits proliferation of cancer cells expressing mutant KRAS in vitro and in vivo. Pan-RAS protein degradation, however, affects proliferation irrespective of the RAS mutation. These data show that specific KRAS degradation is an important therapeutic strategy to affect tumours expressing any of the range of KRAS mutations.

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