Expanding PROTACtable genome universe of E3 ligases

Yuan Liu, Jingwen Yang, Tianlu Wang, Mei Luo, Yamei Chen, Chengxuan Chen, Ze’ev Ronai, Yubin Zhou, Eytan Ruppin, Leng Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Proteolysis-targeting chimera (PROTAC) and other targeted protein degradation (TPD) molecules that induce degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) offer new opportunities to engage targets that remain challenging to be inhibited by conventional small molecules. One fundamental element in the degradation process is the E3 ligase. However, less than 2% amongst hundreds of E3 ligases in the human genome have been engaged in current studies in the TPD field, calling for the recruiting of additional ones to further enhance the therapeutic potential of TPD. To accelerate the development of PROTACs utilizing under-explored E3 ligases, we systematically characterize E3 ligases from seven different aspects, including chemical ligandability, expression patterns, protein-protein interactions (PPI), structure availability, functional essentiality, cellular location, and PPI interface by analyzing 30 large-scale data sets. Our analysis uncovers several E3 ligases as promising extant PROTACs. In total, combining confidence score, ligandability, expression pattern, and PPI, we identified 76 E3 ligases as PROTAC-interacting candidates. We develop a user-friendly and flexible web portal (https://hanlaboratory.com/E3Atlas/) aimed at assisting researchers to rapidly identify E3 ligases with promising TPD activities against specifically desired targets, facilitating the development of these therapies in cancer and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6509
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


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