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Expanding the arsenal of E3 ubiquitin ligases for proximity-induced protein degradation

: Kannt, A.; Dikic, I.


Cell chemical biology 28 (2021), No.7, pp.1014-1031
ISSN: 2451-9456
Fraunhofer ITMP ()
Fraunhofer IME ()

Efficacy and selectivity of molecules inducing protein degradation depend on their affinity to the target protein but also on the type of E3 ubiquitin ligase that is recruited to trigger proteasomal degradation. While tremendous progress has been made on the former, the latter - the arsenal of E3 ligases that can be hijacked for targeted protein degradation - is still largely unexplored. Only about 2% of the more than 600 E3 ligases have been utilized to date. Exploiting additional E3 ligases that are, for example, selectively expressed in specific tissues or cells, or regulated under certain conditions, can considerably broaden the applicability of molecular degraders as a therapeutic modality. Here, we provide an overview of major classes of E3 ligases, review the enzymes that have been exploited for induced protein degradation and approaches used to identify or design E3 ligands, and highlight challenges and opportunities for targeting new E3 ligases.