Targeting Endogenous K-RAS for Degradation through the Affinity-Directed Protein Missile System

Sascha Roth, Thomas Macartney, Agnieszka Konopacka, Kwok-Ho Chan, Houjiang Zhou, Markus A. Queisser, Gopal Sapkota (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
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K-RAS is known as the most frequently mutated oncogene. However, the development of conventional K-RAS inhibitors has been extremely challenging, with a mutation-specific inhibitor reaching clinical trials only recently. Targeted proteolysis has emerged as a new modality in drug discovery to tackle undruggable targets. Our laboratory has developed a system for targeted proteolysis using peptidic high-affinity binders, called “AdPROM.” Here, we used CRISPR/Cas9 technology to knock in a GFP tag on the native K-RAS gene in A549 adenocarcinoma (A549GFPKRAS) cells and constructed AdPROMs containing high-affinity GFP or H/K-RAS binders. Expression of GFP-targeting AdPROM in A549GFPKRAS led to robust proteasomal degradation of endogenous GFP-K-RAS, while expression of anti-HRAS-targeting AdPROM in different cell lines resulted in the degradation of both GFP-tagged and untagged K-RAS, and untagged H-RAS. Our findings imply that endogenous RAS proteins can be targeted for proteolysis, supporting the idea of an alternative therapeutic approach to these undruggable targets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1151-1163.e6
Number of pages13
JournalCell Chemical Biology
Issue number9
Early online date14 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2020


  • cancer targets
  • monobody
  • nanobody
  • oncogene
  • protein degradation
  • RAS
  • RAS/MAPK signaling
  • targeted proteolysis
  • ubiquitin proteasome system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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