A NSD3-targeted PROTAC suppresses NSD3 and cMyc oncogenic nodes in cancer cells

Cell Chem Biol. 2021 Aug 30;S2451-9456(21)00393-7. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2021.08.004. Online ahead of print.


Nuclear receptor binding SET domain protein 3 (NSD3), a gene located within the 8p11-p12 amplicon frequently detected in human cancers, encodes a chromatin modulator and an attractive onco-target. However, agents that effectively suppress NSD3-mediated oncogenic actions are currently lacking. We report the NSD3-targeting proteolysis targeting chimera (PROTAC), MS9715, which achieves effective and specific targeting of NSD3 and associated cMyc node in tumor cells. MS9715 is designed by linking BI-9321, a NSD3 antagonist, which binds NSD3's PWWP1 domain, with an E3 ligase VHL ligand. Importantly, MS9715, but not BI-9321, effectively suppresses growth of NSD3-dependent hematological cancer cells. Transcriptomic profiling demonstrates that MS9715, but not BI-9321, effectively suppresses NSD3-and cMyc-associated gene expression programs, resembling effects of the CRISPR-Cas9-mediated knockout of NSD3. Collectively, these results suggest that pharmacological degradation of NSD3 as an attractive therapeutic strategy, which co-suppresses NSD3- and cMyc-related oncogenic nodes, is superior to blocking the PWWP1 domain of NSD3.

Keywords: NSD3; PROTAC; cMyc; cancer; chromatin; degrader; epigenetics; histone; ubiquitylation.