RNA-PROTACs: Degraders of RNA-Binding Proteins.
Ghidini A., Cléry A., Halloy F., Allain FHT., Hall J.
Defects in the functions of RNA binding proteins (RBPs) are at the origin of many diseases; however, targeting RBPs with conventional drugs has proven difficult. PROTACs are a new class of drugs that mediate selective degradation of a target protein through a cell's ubiquitination machinery. PROTACs comprise a moiety that binds the selected protein, conjugated to a ligand of an E3 ligase. Herein, we introduce RNA-PROTACs as a new concept in the targeting of RBPs. These chimeric structures employ small RNA mimics as targeting groups that dock the RNA-binding site of the RBP, whereupon a conjugated E3-recruiting peptide derived from the HIF-1α protein directs the RBP for proteasomal degradation. We performed a proof-of-concept demonstration with the degradation of two RBPs-a stem cell factor LIN28 and a splicing factor RBFOX1-and showed their use in cancer cell lines. The RNA-PROTAC approach opens the way to rapid, selective targeting of RBPs in a rational and general fashion.