ORCID

Abstract

AbstractDegrading pathogenic proteins by degrader technologies such as PROTACs (proteolysis-targeting chimeras) provides promising therapeutic strategies, but selective degradation of non-protein pathogenic biomolecules has been challenging. Here, we demonstrate a novel strategy to degrade non-protein biomolecules by autophagy-tethering compounds (ATTECs), using lipid droplets (LDs) as an exemplar target. LDs are ubiquitous cellular structures storing lipids and could be degraded by autophagy. We hypothesized that compounds interacting with both the LDs and the key autophagosome protein LC3 may enhance autophagic degradation of LDs. We designed and synthesized such compounds by connecting LC3-binding molecules to LD-binding probes via a linker. These compounds were capable of clearing LDs almost completely and rescued LD-related phenotypes in cells and in two independent mouse models with hepatic lipidosis. We further confirmed that the mechanism of action of these compounds was mediated through LC3 and autophagic degradation. Our proof-of-concept study demonstrates the capability of degrading LDs by ATTECs. Conceptually, this strategy could be applied to other protein and non-protein targets.

DOI

10.1038/s41422-021-00532-7

Publication Date

2021-06-18

Publication Title

Cell Research

Volume

31

Issue

9

First Page

965

Last Page

979

ISSN

1001-0602

Embargo Period

2022-01-19

Organisational Unit

Peninsula Medical School

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