Toward effective Atg8-based ATTECs: Approaches and perspectives

J Cell Biochem. 2023 Feb 13. doi: 10.1002/jcb.30380. Online ahead of print.


Induction of Atg8-family protein (LC3/GABARAP proteins in human) interactions with target proteins of interest by proximity-inducing small molecules offers the possibility for novel targeted protein degradation approaches. However, despite intensive screening campaigns during the last 5 years, no potent ligands for LC3/GABARAPs have been developed, rendering this approach largely unexplored and unsuitable for therapeutic exploitation. In this Viewpoint, we analyze the reported attempts identifying LC3/GABARAP inhibitors and provide our own point of view why no potent inhibitors have been found. Additionally, we designate reasonable directions for the identification of potent and probably selective LC3/GABARAP inhibitors for alternative therapeutic applications.

Keywords: ATTEC; Atg8 family proteins; GABARAP; LC3; autophagy; inhibitors; targeted protein degradation.