PROTACs have opened new vistas of Targeted Protein Degradation. However, complex medicinal chemistry, warhead optimization, linkerlogy, and inefficient methods to analyze degradation of the target proteins in cells has hampered its progress. Historical data has shown that optimized molecular glues (MGs) perform the same function as PROTACs. Molecular glues have a small molecular weight, discovered by traditional screens. Potent and selective glues can be designed with simple chemistry. LifeSensors provides a plethora of tools to discover molecular glues.

There are mainly two types of molecular glues. The first class of glues are those that bind to an E3 ligase to change its conformation so that it binds and ubiquitinates a neo-substrate. The second class of glues will bind to a target protein, change its conformation such that the structure is altered, exposing lysines to be ubiquitinated by neighboring ligases. The net effect is the same – the target protein is ubiquitinated and degraded. Depending upon the type of ligase employed for ubiquitination, if lysine 48 chains are built on the target protein, the proteasome will recognize the target and degrade it. If lysine 63 chains are built on the target protein, the protein may be trafficked to another compartment with a loss of function. However, lysine 63 chains most likely promote autophagy, and the protein will be degraded by lysosomal degradation mechanisms. LifeSensors has a variety of tools to discover and tease out the mechanism of molecular glue mediated ubiquitination and degradation.

Traditional methods such as western blotting and reporter gene assays have been at the forefront of studying target protein degradation. However, these methods are extremely low throughput, time-consuming, and/or prone to artifacts. LifeSensors has developed high-throughput methods to directly monitor molecular glue and PROTAC mediated ubiquitination and degradation of target proteins. Monitoring ligand mediated ubiquitination of target proteins is the best and the most faithful form of molecular glue or PROTAC function.

LifeSensors has diverse expertise in medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, and cell-biology specializing in ubiquitin-based drug discovery for the last 20 years. We offer our degrader discovery services starting from design and synthesis of novel PROTACs and molecular glues, to monitoring binding to target and E3 ligases (biochemical and biophysical), including functional ubiquitination and degradation assays in cells. Monitoring ubiquitylation in vitro permits rapid screening of compound libraries and simplify of the medicinal chemistry approach to rationally design potent molecules. Your Medicinal chemist can focus on new targets as LifeSensors will translate its core technologies for in vitro and cellular screens to discover new hits/leads/drugs.