Targeting oncogenic KRasG13C with nucleotide-based covalent inhibitors

Goebel L, Kirschner T, Koska S, Rai A, Janning P, Maffini S, Vatheuer H, Czodrowski P, Goody RS, Müller MP, Rauh D (2023) Elife


Mutations within Ras proteins represent major drivers in human cancer. In this study, the groups of Roger Goody and Daniel Rauh report the structure-based design, synthesis, as well as biochemical and cellular evaluation of nucleotide-based covalent inhibitors for KRasG13C, an important oncogenic mutant of Ras that has not been successfully addressed in the past. Mass spectrometry experiments and kinetic studies reveal promising molecular properties of these covalent inhibitors, and X-ray crystallographic analysis has yielded the first reported crystal structures of KRasG13C covalently locked with these GDP analogues. Importantly, KRasG13C covalently modified with these inhibitors can no longer undergo SOS-catalysed nucleotide exchange. As a final proof-of-concept, the scientists show that in contrast to KRasG13C, the covalently locked protein is unable to induce oncogenic signalling in cells, further highlighting the possibility of using nucleotide-based inhibitors with covalent warheads in KRasG13C-driven cancer.

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