Protein-Destroying Compounds Target Disease Molecules Outside Cells

September 15, 2021
molecular degraders of extracellular protein molecules

The Spiegel Laboratory recently published in Nature Chemical Biology for the small-molecule-mediated, targeted degradation of extracellular proteins. These molecules, termed molecular degraders of extracellular proteins (MoDEs), function by recruiting disease-causing proteins to the liver, where they are degraded in lysosomes.

The paper “Bifunctional small molecules that mediate the degradation of extracellular proteins” describes both in vivo (mouse) validation of MoDEs and mechanistic exploration. MoDEs represent the first reported small molecules capable of extracellular protein degradation, and are also the first to be validated in vivo. 

To learn how this new approach could offer ways to fight Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and bacterial infections, read the journal Science article covering the Spiegel Lab findings.