Targeted protein degradation (TPD), as exemplified by proteolysis-targeting chimera (PROTAC), is an emerging drug discovery platform. PROTAC molecules, which typically contain a target protein ligand linked to an E3 ligase ligand, recruit a target protein to the E3 ligase to induce its ubiquitination and degradation. Here, we applied PROTAC approaches to develop broad-spectrum antivirals targeting key host factors for many viruses and virus-specific antivirals targeting unique viral proteins. For host-directed antivirals, we identified a small-molecule degrader, FM-74-103, that elicits selective degradation of human GSPT1, a translation termination factor. FM-74-103-mediated GSPT1 degradation inhibits both RNA and DNA viruses. Among virus-specific antivirals, we developed viral RNA oligonucleotide-based bifunctional molecules (Destroyers). As a proof of principle, RNA mimics of viral promoter sequences were used as heterobifunctional molecules to recruit and target influenza viral polymerase for degradation. This work highlights the broad utility of TPD to rationally design and develop next-generation antivirals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1154-1169.e10
JournalCell Host and Microbe
Issue number7
StatePublished - 12 Jul 2023


  • CMV
  • GSPT1
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • antiviral therapeutics
  • influenza virus
  • oligonucleotide
  • small molecule


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