Protein degradation is a promising strategy for drug development. Proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs) hijacking the E3 ligase cereblon (CRBN) exhibit enormous potential and universal degradation performance due to the small molecular weight of CRBN ligands. In this study, the CRBN-recruiting PROTACs were explored on the degradation of oncogenic fusion protein BCR-ABL, which drives the pathogenesis of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). A series of novel PROTACs were synthesized by conjugating BCR-ABL inhibitor dasatinib to the CRBN ligand including pomalidomide and lenalidomide, and the extensive structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies were performed focusing on optimization of linker parameters. Therein, we uncovered that pomalidomide-based degrader 17 (SIAIS056), possessing sulfur-substituted carbon chain linker, exhibits the most potent degradative activity in vitro and favorable pharmacokinetics in vivo. Besides, degrader 17 also degrades a variety of clinically relevant resistance-conferring mutations of BCR-ABL. Furthermore, degrader 17 induces significant tumor regression against K562 xenograft tumors. Our study indicates that 17 as an efficacious BCR-ABL degrader warrants intensive investigation for the future treatment of BCR-ABL leukemia.
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