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Biochem J. 2019 Jan 31;476(2):365-374. doi: 10.1042/BCJ20170441.

Progress in targeting RAS with small molecule drugs.

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UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA and Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Frederick, MD, USA


RAS proteins have traditionally been deemed undruggable, as they do not possess an active site to which small molecules could bind but small molecules that target one form of oncogenic RAS, KRAS G12C, are already in preclinical and clinical trials, and several other compounds that bind to different RAS proteins at distinct sites are in earlier stage evaluation. KRAS is the major clinical target, as it is by far the most significant form of RAS in terms of cancer incidence. Unfortunately, KRAS exists in two isoforms, each with unique biochemical properties. This complicates efforts to target KRAS specifically. KRAS is also a member of a family of closely related proteins, which share similar effector-binding regions and G-domains, further increasing the challenge of specificity. Nevertheless, progress is being made, driven by new drug discovery technologies and creative science.


G-proteins; KRAS; oncognes


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