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All Publications


  • LYTACs that engage the asialoglycoprotein receptor for targeted protein degradation. Nature chemical biology Ahn, G., Banik, S. M., Miller, C. L., Riley, N. M., Cochran, J. R., Bertozzi, C. R. 2021

    Abstract

    Selective protein degradation platforms have afforded new development opportunities for therapeutics and tools for biological inquiry. The first lysosome-targeting chimeras (LYTACs) targeted extracellular and membrane proteins for degradation by bridging a target protein to the cation-independent mannose-6-phosphate receptor (CI-M6PR). Here, we developed LYTACs that engage the asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGPR), a liver-specific lysosome-targeting receptor, to degrade extracellular proteins in a cell-type-specific manner. We conjugated binders to a triantenerrary N-acetylgalactosamine (tri-GalNAc) motif that engages ASGPR to drive the downregulation of proteins. Degradation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) by GalNAc-LYTAC attenuated EGFR signaling compared to inhibition with an antibody. Furthermore, we demonstrated that a LYTAC consisting of a 3.4-kDa peptide binder linked to a tri-GalNAc ligand degrades integrins and reduces cancer cell proliferation. Degradation with a single tri-GalNAc ligand prompted site-specific conjugation on antibody scaffolds, which improved the pharmacokinetic profile of GalNAc-LYTACs in vivo. GalNAc-LYTACs thus represent an avenue for cell-type-restricted protein degradation.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41589-021-00770-1

    View details for PubMedID 33767387

  • Toward Point-of-Care Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: A Brighter Solvatochromic Probe Detects Mycobacteria within Minutes. JACS Au Kamariza, M., Keyser, S. G., Utz, A., Knapp, B. D., Ealand, C., Ahn, G., Cambier, C. J., Chen, T., Kana, B., Huang, K. C., Bertozzi, C. R. 2021; 1 (9): 1368-1379

    Abstract

    There is an urgent need for point-of-care tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic methods that are fast, inexpensive, and operationally simple. Here, we report on a bright solvatochromic dye trehalose conjugate that specifically detects Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) in minutes. 3-Hydroxychromone (3HC) dyes, known for having high fluorescence quantum yields, exhibit shifts in fluorescence intensity in response to changes in environmental polarity. We synthesized two analogs of 3HC-trehalose conjugates (3HC-2-Tre and 3HC-3-Tre) and determined that 3HC-3-Tre has exceptionally favorable properties for Mtb detection. 3HC-3-Tre-labeled mycobacterial cells displayed a 10-fold increase in fluorescence intensity compared to our previous reports on the dye 4,4-N,N-dimethylaminonapthalimide (DMN-Tre). Excitingly, we detected fluorescent Mtb cells within 10 min of probe treatment. Thus, 3HC-3-Tre permits rapid visualization of mycobacteria that ultimately could empower improved Mtb detection at the point-of-care in low-resource settings.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/jacsau.1c00173

    View details for PubMedID 34604847

  • Degradation from the outside in: targeting extracellular and membrane proteins for degradation through the endolysosomal pathway. Cell chemical biology Ahn, G., Banik, S. M., Bertozzi, C. R. 2021

    Abstract

    Targeted protein degradation (TPD) is a promising strategy to remove deleterious proteins for therapeutic benefit and to probe biological pathways. The past two decades have witnessed a surge in the development of technologies that rely on intracellular machinery to degrade challenging cytosolic targets. However, these TPD platforms leave the majority of extracellular and membrane proteins untouched. To enable degradation of these classes of proteins, internalizing receptors can be co-opted to traffic extracellular proteins to the lysosome. Sweeping antibodies and Seldegs use Fc receptors in conjunction with engineered antibodies to degrade soluble proteins. Recently, lysosome-targeting chimeras (LYTACs) have emerged as a strategy to degrade both secreted and membrane-anchored targets. Together with other newcomer technologies, including antibody-based proteolysis-targeting chimeras, modalities that degrade extracellular proteins have promising translational potential. This perspective will give an overview of TPD platforms that degrade proteins via outside-in approaches and focus on the recent development of LYTACs.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.chembiol.2021.02.024

    View details for PubMedID 33770486

  • Targeted glycan degradation potentiates the anticancer immune response in vivo. Nature chemical biology Gray, M. A., Stanczak, M. A., Mantuano, N. R., Xiao, H., Pijnenborg, J. F., Malaker, S. A., Miller, C. L., Weidenbacher, P. A., Tanzo, J. T., Ahn, G., Woods, E. C., Laubli, H., Bertozzi, C. R. 2020

    Abstract

    Currently approved immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies targeting the PD-1 and CTLA-4 receptor pathways are powerful treatment options for certain cancers; however, most patients across cancer types still fail to respond. Consequently, there is interest in discovering and blocking alternative pathways that mediate immune suppression. One such mechanism is an upregulation of sialoglycans in malignancy, which has been recently shown to inhibit immune cell activation through multiple mechanisms and therefore represents a targetable glycoimmune checkpoint. Since these glycans are not canonically druggable, we designed an alphaHER2 antibody-sialidase conjugate that potently and selectively strips diverse sialoglycans from breast cancer cells. In syngeneic breast cancer models, desialylation enhanced immune cell infiltration and activation and prolonged the survival of mice, an effect that was dependent on expression of the Siglec-E checkpoint receptor found on tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells. Thus, antibody-sialidase conjugates represent a promising modality for glycoimmune checkpoint therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41589-020-0622-x

    View details for PubMedID 32807964

  • Lysosome-targeting chimaeras for degradation of extracellular proteins. Nature Banik, S. M., Pedram, K., Wisnovsky, S., Ahn, G., Riley, N. M., Bertozzi, C. R. 2020

    Abstract

    The majority of therapies that target individual proteins rely on specific activity-modulating interactions with the target protein-for example, enzyme inhibition or ligand blocking. However, several major classes of therapeutically relevant proteins have unknown or inaccessible activity profiles and so cannot be targeted by such strategies. Protein-degradation platforms such as proteolysis-targeting chimaeras (PROTACs)1,2 and others (for example, dTAGs3, Trim-Away4, chaperone-mediated autophagy targeting5 and SNIPERs6) have been developed for proteins that are typically difficult to target; however, these methods involve the manipulation of intracellular protein degradation machinery and are therefore fundamentally limited to proteins that contain cytosolic domains to which ligands can bind and recruit the requisite cellular components. Extracellular and membrane-associated proteins-the products of 40% of all protein-encoding genes7-are key agents in cancer, ageing-related diseases and autoimmune disorders8, and so a general strategy to selectively degrade these proteins has the potential to improve human health. Here we establish the targeted degradation of extracellular and membrane-associated proteins using conjugates that bind both a cell-surface lysosome-shuttling receptor and the extracellular domain of a target protein. These initial lysosome-targeting chimaeras, which we term LYTACs, consist of a small molecule or antibody fused to chemically synthesized glycopeptide ligands that are agonists of the cation-independent mannose-6-phosphate receptor (CI-M6PR). We use LYTACs to develop a CRISPR interference screen that reveals the biochemical pathway for CI-M6PR-mediated cargo internalization in cell lines, and uncover the exocyst complex as a previously unidentified-but essential-component of this pathway. We demonstrate the scope of this platform through the degradation of therapeutically relevant proteins, including apolipoproteinE4, epidermal growth factor receptor, CD71 and programmed death-ligand 1. Our results establish a modular strategy for directing secreted and membrane proteins for lysosomal degradation, with broad implications for biochemical research and for therapeutics.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41586-020-2545-9

    View details for PubMedID 32728216