Androgen receptor (AR) mediates the growth of prostate cancer throughout its course of development, including in abnormal splice variants (AR-SV)-driven advanced stage castration-resistant disease. AR stabilization by androgens makes it distinct from other steroid receptors, which are typically ubi-quitinated and degraded by proteasomes after ligand binding. Thus, targeting AR in advanced prostate cancer requires the development of agents that can sustainably degrade variant isoforms for effective therapy. Here we report the discovery and characterization of potent selective AR degraders (SARD) that markedly reduce the activity of wild-type and splice variant isoforms of AR at submicromolar doses. Three SARDs (UT-69, UT-155, and (R)-UT-155) bind the amino-terminal transcriptional activation domain AF-1, which has not been targeted for degradation previously, with two of these SARD (UT-69 and UT-155) also binding the carboxy-terminal ligand binding domain. Despite different mechanisms of action, all three SARDs degraded wild-type AR and inhibited AR function, exhibiting greater inhibitory potency than the approved AR antagonists. Collectively, our results introduce a new candidate class of next-generation therapeutics to manage advanced prostate cancer.
- Prostate Cancer
- Androgen receptor