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Pediatr Res. 2010 May;67(5):505-8. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e3181d35017.

Protacs for treatment of cancer.

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Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.


Protein degradation is the cell's mechanism of eliminating misfolded or unwanted proteins. The pathway by which proteins are degraded occurs through the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Ubiquitin is a small 9-kD (kDa) protein that is attached to proteins. A minimum of four ubiquitins are required for proteins to be recognized by the degradation machinery, known as the 26S proteasome. Defects in ubiquitination have been identified in a number of diseases, including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and metabolic disorders. We sought to exploit the delicate balance between protein synthesis and degradation to treat cancer by designing a chimeric molecule, known as Protac (Proteolysis Targeting Chimeric molecule). Protacs are heterobifunctional nanomolecules that are approximately 10 nm in size and can recruit proteins that cause cancer to the ubiquitin-proteasome machinery for degradation. In this review, we discuss the development of this novel technology for the treatment of cancer.

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