Degrading Drugs for Problem Proteins: Journal Club now on Bio Eats World (ep 2)

Welcome to the second episode of Bio Eats World, a brand new podcast all about how biology is technology. Bio is breaking out of the lab and clinic and into our daily lives -- on the verge of revolutionizing our world in ways we are only just beginning to imagine.

Many diseases are caused by proteins that have gone haywire in some fashion. There could be too much of the protein, it could be mutated, or it could be present in the wrong place or time. So how do you get rid of these problematic proteins? In this episode of Journal Club (now on Bio Eats World), Stanford professor Carolyn Bertozzi and host Lauren Richardson discuss the article “Lysosome-targeting chimaeras for degradation of extracellular proteins” by Steven Banik, Kayvon Pedram, Simon Wisnovsky, Green Ahn, Nicholas Riley, and Carolyn Bertozzi, published in Nature (2020).

Dr. Bertozzi and  her lab developed a class of drugs — or modality — that tosses the disease-related proteins into the cellular trash can. While there are other drugs that work through targeted protein degradation, these drugs called LYTACs are able to attack a set of critical proteins, some of which have never been touched by any kind of drug before. The conversation covers how they engineered these new drugs, their benefits, and how they can be further optimized and specialized in the future.