Targeting Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 for the Treatment of Hematological Malignancies and Solid Tumors: Candidate Structure-Activity Relationships Insights and Evolution Prospects

J Med Chem. 2022 May 26;65(10):7016-7043. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.2c00047. Epub 2022 May 7.


Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) is a histone methyltransferase that can change the expression of downstream target genes by catalyzing the trimethylation of lysine 27 of histone H3 (H3K27me3). Studies have found that EZH2 is highly expressed in a variety of tumor tissues and is closely related to the occurrence, development, invasion, and metastasis of tumors; therefore, EZH2 is becoming a new molecular target in antitumor therapy. Tazemetostat (EPZ-6438) was approved in 2020 as the first inhibitor targeting catalytic EZH2 for the treatment of epithelioid sarcoma. In addition, a variety of EZH2 inhibitors are being investigated in basic and clinical research for the treatment of tumors, and encouraging results have been obtained. This article systematically reviews the research progress on EZH2 inhibitors and proteolysis targeting chimera (PROTAC)-based EZH2 degradation agents with a focus on their design strategies, structure-activity relationships (SARs), and safety and clinical manifestations.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 Protein
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Hematologic Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Histone Methyltransferases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Histone Methyltransferases
  • Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 Protein