J Med Chem 2019 02 18;62(3):1420-1442. Epub 2019 Jan 18.
The estrogen receptor (ER) is a validated target for the treatment of estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer. Here, we describe the design, synthesis, and extensive structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies of small-molecule ERα degraders based on the proteolysis targeting chimeras (PROTAC) concept. Our efforts have resulted in the discovery of highly potent and effective PROTAC ER degraders, as exemplified by ERD-308 (32). ERD-308 achieves DC (concentration causing 50% of protein degradation) values of 0.17 and 0.43 nM in MCF-7 and T47D ER+ breast cancer cell lines, respectively, and induces >95% of ER degradation at concentrations as low as 5 nM in both cell lines. Significantly, ERD-308 induces more complete ER degradation than fulvestrant, the only approved selective ER degrader (SERD), and is more effective in inhibition of cell proliferation than fulvestrant in MCF-7 cells. Further optimization of ERD-308 may lead to a new therapy for advanced ER+ breast cancer.