A novel strategy to block mitotic progression for targeted therapy

Junlong (Jack) Chi, Hongchun Li, Zhuan Zhou, Javier Izquierdo-Ferrer, Yifan Xue, Cindy M. Wavelet, Gary E. Schiltz, Bin Zhang, Massimo Cristofanilli, Xinghua Lu, Ivet Bahar, Yong Wan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Blockade of mitotic progression is an ideal approach to induce mitotic catastrophe that suppresses cancer cell expansion. Cdc20 is a critical mitotic factor governing anaphase initiation and the exit from mitosis through recruiting substrates to APC/C for degradation. Results from recent TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas) and pathological studies have demonstrated a pivotal oncogenic role for Cdc20-APC/C in tumor progression as well as drug resistance. Thus, deprivation of the mitotic role for Cdc20-APC/C by either inhibition of Cdc20-APC/C activity or elimination of Cdc20 protein via induced protein degradation emerges as an effective therapeutic strategy to control cancer. Methods: We designed a proteolysis targeting chimera, called CP5V, which comprises a Cdc20 ligand and VHL binding moiety bridged by a PEG5 linker that induces Cdc20 degradation. We characterized the effect of CP5V in destroying Cdc20, arresting mitosis, and inhibiting tumor progression by measuring protein degradation, 3D structure dynamics, cell cycle control, tumor cell killing and tumor inhibition using human breast cancer xenograft mouse model. Findings: Results from our study demonstrate that CP5V can specifically degrade Cdc20 by linking Cdc20 to the VHL/VBC complex for ubiquitination followed by proteasomal degradation. Induced degradation of Cdc20 by CP5V leads to significant inhibition of breast cancer cell proliferation and resensitization of Taxol-resistant cell lines. Results based on a human breast cancer xenograft mouse model show a significant role for CP5V in suppressing breast tumor progression. Interpretation: CP5V-mediated degradation of Cdc20 could be an effective therapeutic strategy for anti-mitotic therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-54
Number of pages15
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • Cdc20 PROTAC
  • Cdc20-APC/C
  • Mitotic regulation
  • Ubiquitination and anticancer therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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