Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.534, 67-72, 2021
On the correlation of cereblon binding, fluorination and antiangiogenic properties of immunomodulatory drugs
Cereblon (CRBN), the substrate receptor of an E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, is a target of thalidomide and thalidomide-derived immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs). The binding of these IMiDs to CRBN alters the substrate specificity of the ligase, thereby mediating multiple effects that are exploited in cancer therapy. However, to date, it is not clear which other possible targets might be involved in the efficacy of IMiDs. One especially prominent effect of a number of thalidomide analogs is their ability to inhibit angiogenesis, which is typically enhanced in fluorinated analogs. So far, the involvement of CRBN in antiangiogenic effects is under debate. Here, starting from a systematic set of thalidomide analogs and employing a quantitative in vitro CRBN-binding assay, we study the correlation of fluorination, CRBN binding and antiangiogenic effects. We clearly identify fluorination to correlate both with CRBN binding affinity and with antiangiogenic effects, but do not find a correlation between the latter two phenomena, indicating that the main target for the antiangiogenic effects of thalidomide analogs still remains to be identified. (C) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.